There have been celebrations in Serbia following the approval of a new constitution which enshrines Kosovo as an integral part of the country. The two-day referendum got off to a slow start on Saturday fuelling fears low turnout would annul the vote, but the fifty percent threshold was met following a last minute surge. Speaking on state television, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica described the vote as an historic event, saying it showed that Serbians want to stay united.
However, others have voiced their disapproval. “It doesn’t matter what the result is, it’s the Americans who will decide our future” said one woman. “Kosovo will never be part of Serbia,” said another man, “if they try to make it so there will be bloodshed.”
More than half the electorate has approved the charter which is set to replace a constitution drafted by former President Slobodan Milosevic in 1990. Kosovo’s Albanian majority was not invited to vote and boycotted the ballot. Analysts say the charter will have no effect on UN-backed talks on the future status of Kosovo, which is expected to be granted independence.