France welcomes Kenya constitution vote

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France said Friday that a referendum vote by Kenyans to adopt a new constitution is an "important stage" in the country's reconciliation process after the bloodshed unleashed by 2007 elections.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages said the apparently peaceful referendum was a "positive signal for the preparation of elections to come."

Some 67 percent of voters backed the new constitution, according to Kenya's electoral commission, and the vote defied fears of a repeat of the violence of 2007 and 2008, when political and ethnic clashes left around 1,500 dead.

© 2010 AFP

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