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Central African Republic Votes on Constitutional Referendum


Voters in Central African Republic have cast ballots on a draft constitution that could pave the way for the restoration of civilian rule in the country. Turnout was reported strong.

If approved, the new constitution would reduce the powers of the president and give more authority to the prime minister and national assembly.

The French news agency reported the nation's borders were shut and sales of alcohol barred, while voting took place Sunday. It also said polls closed two hours late to accommodate voters waiting to cast ballots.

If the constitution is adopted, Central African Republic is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

Current President Francois Bozize, who gained power by overthrowing President Ange-Felix Patasse last year, urged voters to back the proposed constitution.

Some information provided by AP and AFP.

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