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CAR votes 'yes' to constitutional reform, preliminary results show

Residents of the PK5 district hold a banner reading "We want to vote" in front of the United Nations mission in Central African Republic in Bangui on December 13, 2015

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.


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

"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 hurt in an attack in the majority-Muslim PK-5 district of Bangui during the referendum.

The attack involving rocket launchers and machine guns disrupted voting in the flashpoint PK-5 district. The violence has been attributed to a faction of the Muslim ex-Seleka rebellion that overthrew Bozize.

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

The referendum was seen as a test run for presidential and parliamentary elections due to take place December 27.

But after Sunday's violence in the PK-5 area and other parts of the country, a second day of voting was held Monday.


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