Entries in Referendum (7)


Syrian Violence Doesn't End After Al-Assad's Referendum Passes

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- A day after voters in Syria reportedly approved a referendum by an overwhelming margin, a human rights group claimed that at least 138 people had been killed in the continued crackdown on pro-reform dissidents.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 98 people died in the city of Homs alone on Monday, including 64 allegedly massacred at a checkpoint in the city.

At least 7,000 people have been killed in the year-long offensive by the Syrian government, which claims that terrorists outside the country are fomenting anger against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Meanwhile, the government says that the referendum intended to bring about constitutional reforms received nearly 90 percent approval, with just over 57 percent of eligible voters going to the polls.  However, most observers regarded the vote as a farce that allows al-Assad to remain in power for the next 16 years.

The international community has condemned the violence in Syria, but little has been done to stop it.  On Monday, the European Union did impose sanctions on Damascus that freezes assets of its central bank and restricts trade of gold and other precious metals among other penalties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Syrians Vote on Referendum That Could Keep Al-Assad in Power for Years

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Syrians went to the polls on Sunday to vote on a referendum for a new constitution that potentially keeps President Bashar al-Assad in power for another 16 years after 11 months of brutality against his own people.

Adding further insult to injury, the government crackdown on pro-reform dissidents went undeterred in the city of Homs and elsewhere in Syria, leaving dozens dead and the rest of the world wondering if anything can stop the violence.

There was little enthusiasm expressed for Sunday's vote, which was regarded as a sham by al-Assad's opponents.

The major fear now is that without any foreign intervention, the conflict will break out into a sectarian war between al-Assad's Alawite sect and the majority Sunni Muslim population.  However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted that the situation could grow worse if the international community steps in militarily.

Al-Assad came into power in 2000 after his father died.  He won the first referendum for a seven-year term with more than 97 percent of the vote and a second one with slightly more.

The new constitution would enact a presidential limit of two seven-year terms, but that term wouldn't go into effect until after al-Assad has the chance to serve another two terms after his present one runs out in 2014.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Greek Cabinet Approves Referendum on Bailout Package

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ATHENS, Greece) --  With a unanimous vote, the Greek cabinet has decided to move forward with an immediate referendum on the bailout plan for the country.

Although the vote was unanimous, some Greek lawmakers expressed opposition to the vote. The prime minister of Greece, George Papandreou, called for the referendum at the last minute, seeking the public's approval for the rescue package eurozone leaders agreed upon at last week's summit in Brussels.  

Papandreou's call for a referendum caused Tuesday stocks in U.S. and European markets to plummet. A negative vote would likely send Europe into a depression, and have a heavy impact on the global economy.

One official says the referendum will likely happen before Christmas, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Greek Prime Minister Calls for Surprise Referendum

Hemera/Thinkstock(ATHENS) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced late Monday night, the decision to hold a referendum on the bailout approved for Greece last week. This move puts the extremely unpopular austerity measures to a popular vote, which could threaten the financial futures of both Greece and the euro.

If the popular vote is a no, the deal between Greece and the European Union would dissolve, almost certainly guaranteeing Greece would default on its debt by cutting off international funding. A yes vote would shift the responsibility of budget cuts onto the public, enacting the austerity measure and enabling Greece to receive aid from the IMF and the rest of the Euro zone .

This referendum is expected to take place in January.

Already the news has sent shockwaves through the European markets, as the DAX, CAC and FTSE all opened down.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is holding an emergency meeting today of top government ministers to discuss Greece's surprise decision.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Southern Sudan Vote Reaches 60 Percent

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JUBA, Southern Sudan) – After just three days, 60 percent of registered voters in Southern Sudan have cast their ballot in a referendum to determine whether the region will split from the rest of the country.

The number, as reported by Southern Sudan’s ruling party, has passed the threshold required for the vote to be valid.

Voting will continue until Saturday, with the results expected to be announced sometime next month.

Meanwhile, reports say that Princeton Lyman, a U.S. diplomat dispatched to Southern Sudan to manage the referendum, has said the U.S could remove Sudan from the list of state-sponsored terrorism if the north recognizes the vote and meets other conditions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


George Clooney in Sudan to Bring Attention to Independence Referendum

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SUDAN, Africa) -- George Clooney is in Sudan, ahead of a week-long referendum that began Sunday and will likely lead to the southern part of the country declaring its independence.

Clooney has been actively involved for years in ending the civil conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, so the elections are important to him.  He tells ABC News, "I get an awful lot of undue attention at times in my life, and I thought I could parlay that, and if I was going to get that kind of attention, I should do it somewhere where people really need the attention."

Clooney says it's important that the referendum not result in more violence.  To that end, his organization Not On Our Watch helped launch a website late last month,, that is monitoring troops in the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Voter Registration Kicks Off in Southern Sudan Before Vote on Possible Secession

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Voter registration began Monday in Southern Sudan in preparation for the referendum on self-determination set for January 9, 2011, according to a statement released by the White House.

"Voter registration is a critical milestone in that process, and we hope that it will continue unabated.  We call on Northern and Southern leaders to finish the work started without the voter registrations process to ensure the referendum in peaceful and occurs on time, and that the will of the people of South Sudan are respected regardless of the outcome," said a statement from the White House Press Secretary's office.

The official White House statement also mentioned how pleased President Obama is with the start of the registration process, and urged both parties to work together in finding a "way forward for Abyei in the interest of lasting peace."

Following the voter registration, set to close Dec. 1, citizens of Southern Sudan will vote Jan. 9 on whether to secede from the rest of the country.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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