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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:43, March 01, 2006
Montenegro sets May 21 for independence referendum
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The Montenegrins authorities and opposition agreed on Tuesday that a referendum about the Balkan republic's possible independence would be held on May 21, one week after the EU proposed date.

The two sides also agreed to postpone the regular local elections for autumn when regular parliamentary elections will be held, the official Tanjug news agency reported from Podgorica.

According to the initial proposal presented by EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak, the referendum and local elections in Montenegro should be held on May 14.

The EU package contains a proposal that the decision on Montenegro's state status should be made by 55 percent of valid votes.

The major ruling Democratic Party of Socialists and all four opposition parties have accepted the EU proposal on a referendum. The smaller member of the ruling coalition, Social Democratic Party, will take its position on the offer at a parliament session on the referendum.

Montenegro is a republic in the loose union of Serbia- Montenegro. The republic has been divided by pro-independence ruling coalition and pro-Serbian opposition.

Montenegrin parliament President Ranko Krivokapic said on Tuesday that the parliament would adopt the bill on referendum at its session on Wednesday. He said that Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic would formally initiate the referendum procedure.

After talks with Krivokapic, Lajcak said that he expected Montenegro's parliament to adopt the bill on referendum, which will contain also the EU proposal.

"I believe that the session on Wednesday of Montenegro's parliament will bring good news that will be sent from Montenegro to Europe," Lajcak told reporters in Podgorica.

Source: Xinhua

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