Montenegro Serb Leader out of Hospital

Podgorica – A doctor at Montenegro’s main clinical centre has announced the leader of the opposition Serbian List Andrija Mandic was released from hospital on Monday.

Mandic, was hospitalised over the weekend after nearly two weeks on a hunger strike.

He launched it in the National Assembly building to protest recognition of Kosovo by Podgorica on October 13. He and other opponents had demanded a referendum on the issue, something Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic rejects.

Doctor Olivera Boskovic said Mandic has lost at least 8 kilogrammes in weight during his hunger strike.

She said that Mandic’s condition has now improved and he was released to be cared for at home but he will have to be checked regularly.

Clashes broke out in the Montenegrin capital just days after Podgorica’s move, in which several people – most of them police officers – were injured while dozens have been arrested.

Belgrade also expelled Montenegro’s ambassador following the recognition.

Last week opposition leaders met with President Filip Vujanovic, whom they told that Montenegro was in a political crisis that could only be surmounted by acceding to the opposition’s demands.
Earlier Djukanovic said in an interview with The Associated Press news agency that there was no pressure but “expectations” from the United States and some European Union countries for Montenegro to recognise Kosovo, the former Serbian province which declared independence in February.
A large proportion of Montenegro citizens, about a third of the population, declare themselves as Serbs, while ethnic Albanians also make up a sizeable minority in the coastal republic.
Montenegro, Belgrade’s traditional ally, was also in a loose union with Serbia up until 2006 when it voted in a referendum to become independent.

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