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UPDATED: 09:53, April 07, 2007
Initial result shows "Yes" to revision of constitution in Madagascar
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The amendment of Madagascar's constitution is most likely to be approved though temporary results showed mixed reaction of the voters in the national referendum on Wednesday.

Statistics provided by the Interior Ministry showed that with 73.18 percent of the vote counted by 11 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Friday, 145,2162 out of 203,9286 voters who cast their votes in the referendum approved the revision.

With 480,6108 legal voters registered, the participation rate has been corrected to 42.43 percent rather than some 20 percent as announced on Thursday.

National referendum was held on Wednesday on revision of the constitution, which was also approved by a referendum in 1992.

In the capital city of Antananarivo, which has the most registered electors and the highest participation rate compared to the other autonomous provinces, 74.93 percent of the voters said "yes" to the revision of the constitution.

However, at least four out of six autonomous provinces, "no" seems to take the lead in the accountant by Friday evening.

The government and president Marc Ravalomanana had expected an active turn-up of the voters in the referendum with at least 80 percent of them approved the amendment.

This is the first time a voting took place in a working day while other elections including the national presidential election last December went on Sundays in Madagascar.

President Ravalomanana said repeatedly during the three-week campaign to promote the amendment that the revision would accelerate economic development of the country and create favorite conditions to realize the targets of the government economic plan.

Under revised version of the constitution, all six autonomous provinces will be abolished with an aim to excise a better management of the country and the development of local will be mainly based village and district levels.

Under revised clause of the constitution, English will be another national language besides Malagasy and French for Madagascar, which won its independence from France in 1960s.

Final results of the referendum will be announced officially on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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