The people of Montenegro have voted to end their union with Serbia. According to the republic's referendum commission, the referendum passed with more than the required fifty-five percent of the vote. Around eighty-five percent of eligible voters went to the polls in Montenegro.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that the referendum met democratic standards. U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack commented on the referendum:
"The United States applauds the peaceful, democratic, and transparent manner in which the referendum was carried out. It appears the people of Montenegro have spoken and that the referendum has passed. So, what we look for now is both Serbia and Montenegro to work through all the very complicated questions that will accompany this decision."
Serbian president Boris Tadic said Serbia accepts the results of the independence vote in Montenegro. "I supported the preservation of a joint state," said Mr. Tadic, "but as a democratic president of a democratic republic, I recognize the expression of the free will of the Montenegrin citizens." Mr. Tadic also urged close cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro.
The people of Montenegro have exercised their democratic right to vote and have chosen to become an independent country. They should continue that process in a peaceful and cooperative way as they, along with the people of Serbia and the rest of the Balkans, continue to move forward toward a brighter future.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.