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Tunisia referendum approves expansion of president’s powers – officials

Electoral commission – controlled by President Kais Saied – says 95% voted yes in constitutional referendum, which was boycotted by opposition groups

Tunisian president Kais Saied has celebrated the almost certain victory of the yes vote in a referendum on a new constitution that hands him wide-ranging powers and risks the return of authoritarian rule in the birthplace of the Arab spring.

Preliminary results for the vote, held a year to the day after Saied sacked the government and froze parliament in what rivals have called a coup, were due late on Tuesday, with a full tally not expected until next month. However, according to an exit poll taken by the Sigma Conseil institute, an overwhelming 92-93% of those who voted on Monday supported the new constitution.

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