Ivory Coast: A referendum vote mirred by a low turnout and machete attacks | International Business Times

Abidjan was largely quiet and peaceful on Sunday (30 October) when there was a visibly low turnout in Ivory Coast’s constitutional referendum following a short campaign for changes the president said will help end years of unrest. Voters were asked to approve a draft constitution containing provisions that the opposition contended will significantly strengthen the power of the presidency, with one of the proposed modification effectively scrapping a clause that sets 75 as the age limit to be able to run for president. Led by 74-year-old President Alassane Ouattara and the ruling coalition, the ‘Yes’ camp campaign kicked off last week, while Human Rights Watch claimed opposition parties’ ability to explain their position to the public during their ‘No’ campaign had been “severely undermined”. Violence was reported in between 100 and 150 polling stations out of the nations’ 10,000. In some cases, stations were held up by young men with knives and ballot boxes were taken away, while others were attacked with men armed with clubs and machetes, according to Reuters. Overall, however, the issues lay with the process, participation and inclusiveness rather than the violence.

Full Article: Ivory Coast: A referendum vote mirred by a low turnout and machete attacks.

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