Monday, February 27, 2012

89.4% 'yes' for new Syria constitution: minister

Almost 90 percent of voters approved Syria's new constitution brought in after 11 months of anti-regime protests, the interior minister announced on Monday.

Mohammed al-Shaar also told a press conference that turnout reached 57.4 percent of eligible voters, with 89.4 percent of the 8.376 million who cast their ballots in Sunday's referendum saying "yes" to the new constitution.

"There has been a large turnout despite threats made by armed terrorist groups in some regions," the minister said, using a term employed by the authorities for rebels.

People went to polling stations "despite campaigns by treacherous media to stop citizens from exercising their rights and undermine the democratic process that took place freely and transparently," he added.

The opposition had called for a boycott of the referendum, while the United States described it as "laughable".

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