90% OF VOTERS IN CAPITAL CITY BANGUI BACK NEW CENTRAL AFRICAN CONSTITUTION

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Nearly 90 percent of voters in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui voted for changes to the constitution in a referendum aimed at ending years of sectarian strife, though turnout was low at 30 percent, partial results showed Thursday, reports news.yahoo.com

The voting on Sunday was marred by violence triggered by armed factions opposed to the referendum, in a country that was plunged into conflict after a mainly Muslim rebellion overthrew in 2013 the longtime Christian leader, Francois Bozize.

The referendum was seen as a test run for presidential and parliamentary elections set for December 27 to end the more than two years of conflict between Muslim and Christian militias.

"The 'Yes' vote won 77,979, and the 'No' vote took 8,984 votes -- so 90 percent were 'Yes' votes, and 10 percent were 'No'," Julius Ngouade Baba of the National Electoral Authority (ANE) said, adding that turnout was low in Bangui at 30 percent.

Ballots from other areas of the country had still not all been counted, he added.

Five people were killed Sunday and 20 injured in an attack in the flashpoint Muslim-majority PK-5 district of Bangui during the referendum.

The attack involving rocket launchers and machine guns disrupted voting in the district. The violence has been attributed to a faction of the Muslim ex-Seleka rebellion that overthrew Bozize.

The Muslim community in PK-5 is split between a majority who favour the electoral process and those opposed, now labelled the "enemies of peace".

Hundreds of people headed to the UN peacekeeping headquarters on Wednesday to demand the expulsion of the "enemies of peace" in PK-5.

After Sunday's violence in PK-5, a second day of voting was held Monday, under the protection of UN peacekeepers and French soldiers.

Makeup balloting was also held elsewhere in the troubled former French colony where armed men interfered with Sunday's polling, notably in the northeast.

The country's proposed new constitution would limit presidential tenure to two terms, fight institutional corruption and rein in the armed militias.

If adopted, it would usher in the sixth republic since independence from France in 1960 and mark the 13th political regime in a country notorious for its chronic instability.

Read the story here news.yahoo.com/c-africa-voters-capital-city-back-change-early-191443405.html

Source: news.yahoo.com

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