Facts & Figures
President: Filip Vujanovic (2008)
Prime Minister: Milo Djukanovic (2012)
Land area: 5,333 sq mi (13,812 sq km); total area: 5,415 sq mi (14,026 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 650,036 (growth rate: –0.49%); birth rate: 10.59/1000; death rate: 9.3/1000.
Capital (2011 est.): Podgorica, 156,000
Monetary unit: Euro
- Montenegro Main Page
- Independence Is Declared
Montenegro, a jumbled mass of mountains, with a small coastline along the Adriatic, borders Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. It is roughly the size of Connecticut.
Republic. Montenegro, formerly part of Serbia and Montenegro, gained independence on June 3, 2006.
The first inhabitants on the Balkan peninsula were the ancient people known as the Illyrians. The Slavic people followed in the 6th and 7th centuries. What is now Montenegro was the Serbian principality of Zeta in the 14th century. The principality was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire from the 14th to the 19th century, though this mountainous region managed to evade tight Ottoman control. It then became a principality within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and in 1878 achieved independence. In 1910, Prince Nicholas I proclaimed himself king. During World War I, Montenegro fought on the side of the Allies and was defeated by Austro-German forces. Nicholas was forced to flee the country and Montenegro was annexed to Serbia, then called the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Yugoslavia became a Communist republic under Josip Tito. Tito's tight rein kept ethnic tensions in check until his death in 1980. Without his pan-Slavic influence, ethnic and nationalist differences began to flare, and by the 1990s Yugoslavia started to disintegrate in a brutal ten-year civil war. In the war's aftermath, Serbia and Montenegro were the only two remaining republics of Yugoslavia, and in Feb. 2003, they formed a new state, a loose federation called Serbia and Montenegro. The arrangement was made to placate Montenegro's restive stirrings for independence and stipulated that Montenegro could hold a referendum on independence after three years. In May 2003, Filip Vujanovic, a strong advocate of Montenegrin independence, was elected Montenegro's president.
Independence Is Declared
In May 2006, Montenegro held a referendum on independence, which narrowly passed. On June 3, it declared independence, and on June 26, it became the 192nd member of the United Nations. Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic resigned in January 2008 to undergo treatment for a rare form of lung cancer. He was replaced by Milo Djukanovic, who has already served four terms as prime minister. He had been in power as either president or prime minister of Montenegro from 1991 to 2006 and had led the country's drive for independence.
On April 6, 2008, incumbent Filip Vujanovic won the presidential election with approximately 51 perecent of the vote. Voter turnout was about 69%. In Dececember 2010, the longest-serving leader in the Balkans, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, resigned. Vujanovic named Igor Luksic, the current finance minister, as prime minister.
Under Luksic's government, the country's GDP grew 3.2 percent, negotiations for EU access began, and the groundwork for joining NATO was laid.
October 2012 elections reestablished the foothold of Montenegro's biggest party, Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). Parliament approved the new government on Dec. 4: Igor Luksic as foreign minister, Rasko Konjevic as interior minister, and Radoje Zugic as finance minister; Milica Pejanovic Djurisic is to remain as defense minister.
Presidential elections were held on April 7, 2013. Incumbent Filip Vujanovic won once again. This time Vujanovic received 51.2 percent of the vote. Democratic Front candidate Miodrag Lekic was a close second with 48.8 percent. Vujanovic would now serve a third term as president.