The Montenegrin parliament nullified early on Friday the 1918 decision to join Serbia after the Great War, describing the move as an annexation by Belgrade and a treason to the then Kingdom of Montenegro, the Beta news agency reported.
The Great National Assembly of the Serb people in Montenegro, commonly known as Podgorica Assembly, an ad hoc gathering, voted in November 1918 to unite with the Kingdom of Serbia.
The current Montenegrin Parliament started on Thursday a debate based on the motion for the abolishment of the decision signed by 42 out of 81 deputies who said that “before, during and after the Great War, Montenegro was a sovereign and internationally recognised country, defined by the 1905 Constitution, while Podgorica Assembly was not its legal institution nor its decision was based on freely expressed will of Montenegrin people.”
The issue caused heated arguments which lasted until early hours on Friday and almost ended in a fight between the ruling coalition and opposition deputies after an exchange of insults.
During the session, several hundred people marched the streets of Podgorica carrying banners reading “Never again 1918,” while the organisers, the ‘Dukljani’ NGO, said, “it should never again be allowed to anyone to celebrate the treason of Montenegro.”
Soon after the session ended, Podgorica police arrested an opposition leader for allegedly refusing to testify in a case before the Special Court.
Montenegro was one of six republics comprising the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following its bloody disintegration in the '90s, Montenegro remained a part of a new state with Serbia until it peacefully seceded in a referendum in May 2006.