PODGORICA, Montenegro, July 23, 2007 -- There is no room for compromise on the new constitution and a referendum on the text could be held in September, Miodrag Vukovic, head of the parliamentary group of the ruling Party of Democratic Socialists (PDS) told Vjiesti newspaper on Sunday (July 22nd). He says the PDS wants the Constitution Board to complete its work by the end of this month, clearing the way for a debate by the whole legislature in September, followed by a voter referendum. The PDS insists that the official language should be Montenegrin, and that the state symbols under which Montenegro's statehood was restored should remain.
President Filip Vujanovic was quoted on Monday by Mina news agency as saying a referendum is highly likely, he wants parties in parliament to hammer out an agreement on all seven recommendations made by the Council of Europe.
Albanian members of parliament were not available for comment and have not voiced any objections to the current framework of the new Constitution. Promoting the Albanian language as part of the official language in Montenegro was not even a point of contention and there was no inclination that it will be deliberated on prior to any future referendum. The issues surrounding greater minority rights, including a clearer definition of the rights of national minorities -- where Albanians staunchly claim is a better depiction of their status -- is no where on the docket for further debate.