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‘Reconciliation is dead’: Indigenous Australians vow silence after referendum fails

‘Reconciliation is dead’: Indigenous Australians vow silence after referendum fails

AUSTRALIAN Indigenous leaders called for a week of silence and reflection after a referendum to recognise First Peoples in the constitution was decisively rejected. More than 60% of Australians voted "No" in the landmark referendum on Saturday that asked whether to alter the constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people with an Indigenous advisory body, the "Voice to Parliament", that would have advised parliament on matters concerning the community. Australia's first referendum in almost a quarter of a century needed a national majority and majorities in at least four states to pass. All six states rejected the proposal. "This is a bitter…
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Australians to reject Indigenous Voice in referendum, final YouGov poll shows

Australians to reject Indigenous Voice in referendum, final YouGov poll shows

AUSTRALIANS are set to overwhelmingly say 'No' to a proposal to constitutionally recognise the country's Indigenous people in a referendum, one of the final opinion polls ahead of the vote showed. Australians have to vote 'Yes' or 'No' to a question asking whether they agree to alter the 122-year-old constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, and create a body, called the Voice to Parliament, that can provide advice to the government. More than 4 million people have already cast their ballot after early voting began on October 2. With less than two days to go before voting…
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Central African Republic plans referendum on scrapping presidential term limits

Central African Republic plans referendum on scrapping presidential term limits

CENTRAL African Republic's President Faustin-Archange Touadera said he would hold a referendum in July on his intention to change the constitution and remove term limits. Touadera's allies proposed the change in May last year, arguing that presidential term limits were uncommon in many neighbouring countries. Critics and opposition parties held protests last year as the reform would allow Touadera to run again in 2025 for a third term. The president installed a commission to draft the proposed changes in September. But the country's top court ruled the committee unconstitutional and annulled it. In an address to the nation on Tuesday, Touadera…
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“Tunisia moving towards dictatorship”

“Tunisia moving towards dictatorship”

TAREK AMARA and ANGUS MCDOWALL TUNISIA'S president is using a referendum on a new constitution to move back towards dictatorship, the head of the biggest Tunisian opposition party, the Islamist Ennahda, warned. Rached Ghannouchi, who was parliament speaker until President Kais Saied shut the chamber and seized most powers last summer, said the atmosphere in the build-up to the July 25 vote was "undemocratic and funereal". Saied's focus on political changes while the economy slid further towards crisis also meant Tunisia faced a "Sri Lanka situation" with a looming social explosion, Ghannouchi told Reuters in an interview. "Saied's speeches can…
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Tunisian president takes most powers in proposed constitution

Tunisian president takes most powers in proposed constitution

TUNISIA'S president published a planned new constitution that he will put to a referendum next month, expanding his own powers and limiting the role of parliament in a vote most political parties have already rejected. Kais Saied has ruled by decree since last summer, when he brushed aside the parliament and the democratic 2014 constitution in a step his foes called a coup, moving towards one-man rule and vowing to remake the political system. His intervention last summer has thrust Tunisia into its biggest political crisis since the 2011 revolution that ousted former autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and introduced…
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‘Tunisian president plans to change political system, suspend constitution’

‘Tunisian president plans to change political system, suspend constitution’

TAREK AMARA and ANGUS McDOWALL TUNISIAN President Kais Saied plans to suspend the constitution and may amend the political system via a referendum, one of his advisers has told Reuters in the first clear indication of his plans after moves his critics have called a coup. More than six weeks after Saied seized governing powers, dismissed the prime minister and suspended parliament on July 25, he has still not appointed a new government or made any broader declaration of his long-term intentions. "This system cannot continue ... changing the system means changing the constitution through a referendum, perhaps ... the…
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Liberia votes in referendum to shorten Presidential terms

Liberia votes in referendum to shorten Presidential terms

ALPHONSO TOWEH LIBERIANS lined up at polling stations across the country on Tuesday to decide on a variety of constitutional changes including the shortening of presidential terms to five years and allowing dual citizenship. Half of the Senate's 30 seats were being contested alongside the referendum, which was promised by President George Weah's predecessor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Former soccer star Weah's election victory in 2017 was greeted with wild celebrations, but he has since faced protests from those who say he has failed to tackle corruption or revive a stagnant economy. In October Weah's team was forced to publicly denounce…
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Liberian electoral body says referendum on presidential terms will take place

Liberian electoral body says referendum on presidential terms will take place

LIBERIA will hold a referendum next month on constitutional changes to reduce the length of the president's term and allow for dual citizenship, as it has resolved a procedural issue that risked its cancellation, the election commission has announced. On November 18, the Supreme Court said the December 8 vote would have to be cancelled after it found the ballots violated the law by presenting multiple referendum questions on the same sheet of paper. In response, the election commission has said it can resolve the issue by printing the questions on separate sheets of paper, allowing the vote to take…
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