Se­nate abol­ished in ref­er­en­dum

Daily Trust - - PHOTO NEWS -

Mau­ri­ta­ni­ans have voted to abol­ish the up­per house of their par­lia­ment, the Se­nate, in a con­tro­ver­sial ref­er­en­dum that was boy­cotted by the op­po­si­tion.

The re­sult is seen as a vic­tory for Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Ould Ab­del Aziz, who is ac­cused by his ri­vals of try­ing to ex­tend his man­date, which he de­nies.

He called the ref­er­en­dum af­ter the Se­nate re­jected his pro­pos­als to change the con­sti­tu­tion.

Turnout was 53.73%, with 85% of vot­ers sup­port­ing the change, of­fi­cials said.

But mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion de­nounced an “elec­toral farce which has given way to open-air fraud”.

Mr Ab­del Aziz, who de­scribed the Se­nate as “use­less and too costly”, said the move to abol­ish it would im­prove gov­er­nance by in­tro­duc­ing more lo­cal forms of law­mak­ing.

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