C. African Republic votes yes on constitutional referendum

AP News
Posted: Dec 22, 2015 10:59 AM

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Central African Republic's National Election Authority says final results show citizens have voted yes on a constitutional referendum meant to bring stability to a nation wracked by years of sectarian violence.

Election official Marie-Madeleine N'Kouet Hoornaert said that 93 percent of voters approved the referendum, while 7 percent voted against it according to final results published Monday. Hoornaert said participation was about 38 percent.

The Dec. 13 referendum vote was seen as a test for much-delayed national elections taking place Dec. 27. Violence that killed five and threats of attacks delayed the vote in some areas.

The referendum creates a senate, allows freedom of worship and prohibits religious fundamentalism. The referendum also says perpetrators of coups cannot hold public office. Central African Republic has been highly volatile since early 2013.