Montenegro. According to
CountryAAH, Montenegro resurfaced during the year as an
independent nation after 88 years as the first Serbian
province, then the Yugoslav Republic and finally as part of
the loose union of Serbia and Montenegro. The 2003 Union
agreement allowed the parties to vote for independence after
three years, which Montenegro did on May 21. The EU had set
a minimum of 55% for the jas side to approve a split of the
union. The result was 55.5% for independence. The turnout
was just over 86%. Fears that Serbia would put a spanner in
shame came to shame. On June 3, Montenegro declared itself
independent and soon the neighboring countries and the rest
of the world had recognized the new state.
At the end of June, Montenegro joined the UN.
The EU, which in May suspended the negotiations for a
Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia and
Montenegro, resumed talks with the independent Montenegro.
Serbia still had to stand outside because of the Belgrade
government's failure to arrest and surrender the suspected
Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladić.
In September, parliamentary elections were held. The
government coalition consisting of Milo Đukanović's
Democratic Socialist Party (DPS) and Social Democratic SDP
gained its own majority with 41 of the 81 seats. The
Serbian-friendly opposition - which opposed independence -
received a total of 23 seats.
A month after the election, Prime Minister Đukanović left
his post somewhat unexpectedly. Đukanović, who has been
either prime minister or president since 1991, announced
that he was tired of politics. He appointed Željko
Šturanović as his successor.
At the beginning of the year, more than 40 people were
killed and 200 injured when a passenger train derailed and
crashed into a ravine outside the capital Podgorica. Many of
the victims were children on their way home from a ski trip.