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12 years since Montenegro proclaimed independence: The day when the citizens said "yes" to leave the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro

Montenegrin independence was supported by approximately 230,000 citizens or 55.5%, while 185,000 citizens or 44.5% of the total state wanted to remain with Serbia

Today, Montenegro marks 12 years since the declaration of independence.

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The referendum on independence was held on this day, May 21, 2006, when the citizens of Montenegro in majority decided to leave the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (SCG), which, after 88 years, renewed its state independence.

According to official data, 86.5 percent of the total number of voters went to the referendum or just under 420.000 citizens with the right to vote. Montenegrin independence was supported by approximately 230,000 citizens or 55.5%, while 185,000 citizens or 44.5% of the total state wanted to remain with Serbia. The president of the referendum commission was Slovak Frantisek Lipka.

The new Constitution of Montenegro was adopted in 2007, thus consolidating the state-legal status of that former Yugoslav republic.

Foto: Wikipedia/Nije bitno...

The elected President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, took an oath yesterday and took over the post of the head of state, with a message that he starts this duty with a sense of honor and responsibility, and is proud of the achievements that have been made.

- From the option to be the province of expanded Serbia, which was offered at the presidential elections in 1997, Montenegro has become the most economically developed country in the Western Balkans in the meantime, the leader of reforms and negotiations with the European Union, and certainly the first next member of that alliance - Djukanovic said in Cetinje.

Djukanovic, whose inauguration was broadcast live by the Montenegrin media, said that the new Montenegro, bound by the ancestors, is continuing their work.

Stating that the EU needs internal consolidation, Djukanovic said that it means re-examining the vision of unification, which affects the foreign policy picture of the Western Balkans.

Foto: Tanjug/AP

Djukanovic also said that "the new Montenegro must strengthen its awareness of its state-specific nature in all areas, primarily in culture, which is the guardian and the bearer of identity." According to Djukanovic, state discontinuity left a heavy burden which is limiting our social potentials.

- The problem was a very late formation of educational, cultural and scientific institutions and media houses. This was best seen through the remarkable experience of media manipulation and state-political disloyalty to which we were exposed in the 1990s - Djukanovic said.

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(Telegraf.co.uk / Tanjug)

Tags: Balkan news, Daily news, East Europe, economy, Independence, Milo Đukanovic, Montenegro, policy, President, Referendum, Vote