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Montenegro: Prime Minister Resigns Amid Debate On New Federation

Podgorica, 19 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Montenegro's Prime Minister Filip Vujanovic resigned today amid debate over a deal to reshape the Yugoslav Federation as a loose union between Montenegro and Serbia. Vujanovic said in a letter to Montenegro's parliament that he is returning his mandate to President Milo Djukanovic. He asked the assembly to formally confirm the end of his mandate.

Vujanovic's government has been in crisis since it agreed to redefine its union with Serbia, angering Montenegrin lawmakers in favor of the republic's independence. Four coalition partners in Vujanovic's Liberal Alliance resigned last week over the agreement.

Officials from Vujanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists said the prime minister is engaged in negotiations to form a new government with two separatist parties, the Liberal Alliance and the Social Democratic Party.

Yugoslavia's federal parliament yesterday began debating the agreement on the new union, but has not yet voted on it.