I.Coast constitutional referendum passes, opponents cry foul

An opposition-boycotted referendum to change Ivory Coast’s constitution has easily passed, electoral officials said, but opponents swiftly dismissed the vote as fraudulent. President Alassane Ouattara said the changes were necessary to help end years of instability linked to disputes over national identity while critics labelled the vote an attempt to line up a successor for when his term ends in 2020. The “Yes” camp won 93 percent of votes cast in Sunday’s constitutional referendum, but most eligible voters stayed at home, following the opposition call to boycott, with the official turnout rate put at just over 42 percent.

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