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Kenyans Reject New Constitution, President Concedes Defeat

  • VOA News

Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, has conceded defeat in a referendum on a proposed new constitution.

The country's electoral commission says Kenyans rejected the new constitution by a 58-to-42 percent margin in Monday's vote.

In a televised address on Tuesday, Mr. Kibaki said his government will respect the people's decision. He also congratulated Kenyans for participating in the vote peacefully.

Officials say Monday's vote went smoothly, although there were scattered reports of irregularities. At least eight people were killed in the campaigning leading up to the vote.

The new charter would have introduced land reforms and the post of prime minister. Opponents say it did not do enough to curb wide-ranging powers of the president.

Kenyan officials say there is no constitutional crisis, noting that the country's 1963 charter remains in effect.

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