Liberian Voters Reject Referendum Measures

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 6:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Officials in Liberia say voters rejected all four proposed changes to the country's constitution in a recent referendum.

An election commission official announced Wednesday that none of the proposals recieved the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

The most controversial change would have reduce the number of consecutive years a presidential candidate must have resided in Liberia, from 10 to five.

Another of the proposals was to delay elections by one month until the rainy season ends in November. Since that proposition was rejected, the vote will go ahead as planned in October.

Liberia's main opposition party called for a boycott of last week's vote, saying the proposed changes would make it easier for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to retain power. Election officials reported low voter turnout for the poll.

The other proposed constitutional changes would have increased the retirement age of Supreme Court judges and eliminated run-off votes in legislative polls.

Liberia is still recovering from 14 years of civil unrest and war that ended in 2003. President Sirleaf was elected president in the country's first post-war polls in 2005.