Zimbabwe referendum on new constitution passes with 94.5 per cent of the vote

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's official election body says 94.5 per cent of those who cast ballots in a referendum on a new constitution gave a "Yes" vote to accept reforms that call for a strengthening of human rights and curb presidential powers in the troubled nation.

Judge Rita Makarau, head of the state electoral commission, said Tuesday just over 3 million Zimbabweans voted for the draft constitution and 170,489 voted against. Spoilt ballot papers that were not factored in to the final results.

In Saturday's polling, all citizens over the age of 18 were allowed to vote without being registered on official voters' lists. Of the population of 13 million, half are estimated under 18, leaving a turnout Saturday of slightly below 50 per cent of people eligible to vote on the constitution.