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Montenegro narrowly chooses independence

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Montenegro narrowly chooses independence

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Montenegro’s bid for independence from Serbia has succeeded. But by a whisker, with 55.4 per cent of people voting for a split – less than half a per cent more than was legally required. Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic had already claimed victory, prompting celebrations in the capital Podgorica.

The referendum commission put the turnout at more than 86 per cent. Commission President Frantisek Lipka confirmed that more than 99 per cent of the votes cast were valid. Supporters of the union with Serbia say pollsters who predicted the win had jumped the gun. The initial projection was slightly higher at more than 56 per cent. The last time Montenegro was independent was nearly 90 years ago at the end of World War I.