Serbians are getting ready to vote in a referendum on a new constitution which declares Kosovo an integral part of Serbia. Drafted hastily and without public debate, it needs a majority backing by the country’s 6.5 million voters. Kosovo has been under administration by the United Nations since 1999.
UN-led discussions are currently under way to try to determine the future of the province. Serbian President Boris Tadic says a new constitution is not going to solve the Kosovo problem. “On the other hand, Serbia has the right to fight for its interests there.”
The constitution became necessary after Montenegro split from Serbia in its own referendum in June, dealing a severe blow to Belgrade. Kosovo has condemned the vote calling it illegal and says the province’s majority Albanians will boycott the referendum. Whatever the outcome, the UN and the United States say the document will have no bearing over the province’s future status.