Facts about Montenegro

Facts about Montenegro which voted on Sunday to choose a new president who will lead the EU-candidate Balkan country for a five-year term.

GEOGRAPHY: Montenegro shares borders with Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Albania and has an Adriatic coastline less than 300 kilometres long.

LAND MASS: 13,812 square kilometres (5,333 square miles)

POPULATION: About 632,000, some 45 percent Montenegrins, 29 percent Serbs, 9 percent Bosnian Muslims and 5 percent Albanians.

CAPITAL: Podgorica

LANGUAGE: Montenegrin

RELIGION: Mainly Orthodox Christian (72 percent) with 16 percent Muslims.

HISTORY AND POLITICAL SITUATION: After centuries of Byzantine and Ottoman domination, the principality of Montenegro is recognised as independent at the Berlin congress of 1878. After World War I, Montenegro is occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and thereafter becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to be renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

After World War II Montenegro becomes one of the constituent states of Josip Broz Tito's Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The six-republic federation survives until the bloody Balkan wars of the early 1990s, during which old Yugoslavia disintegrates. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is formed, uniting Serbia and Montenegro.

Montenegro's then-president Milo Djukanovic breaks ranks with the regime of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in 1997 and begins advocating independence. After first forming a new loose union of Serbia and Montenegro, Montenegrins vote for independence in a referendum in May 2006. Parliament declares independence on June 3 that same year.

POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS: Montenegro is a parliamentary democracy. Incumbent President Filip Vujanovic is the head of state while Prime Mister Milo Djukanovic leads the government, as his Democratic Party of Socialists is the main force in the centre-left coalition.

ECONOMY: Gross domestic product in 2011 was 3.23 billion euros ($ 4.15 billion) according to the central bureau for statistics. GDP per capita was an estimated 5,211 euros.

Montenegro's main resources are tourism and agriculture. Foreign debt was 1.3 billion or 39 percent of GDP in 2011, but the government announced it might reach 51 percent in 2012. In 2012 exports reached 370 million euros.

CURRENCY: The euro, since January 2003, although Montenegro is not officially a member of the eurozone.

ARMED FORCES: Montenegro has a professional army with 3,127 troops.

WEB SITES: www.gov.me, www.predsjednik.me, www.skupstina.me