Media News - Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Residents of Iceland have voted for their constitution to be rewritten in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis, electing to take greater control of natural resources such as fish and geothermal energy, results of a referendum showed on Sunday. The collapse of the island's heavily indebted banks led to demands for change after accusations of cronyism between the political elite and business. The referendum is non-binding but backers of change hope that politicians will find it hard to ignore even though parliament is responsible for adopting a new constitution and the main opposition party has said it opposes proposed changes. Saturday's referendum asked voters six questions, including whether people wanted a new constitution which has been drawn up by a specially-appointed panel of 25 citizens to be the basis for a review of the basic law. With two-thirds of votes counted on Sunday, 66 percent had answered "yes" to that question. Turnout was 49 percent of the island's more than 235,000 eligible voters, broadcaster RUV said. The draft constitution includes provisions to allow 10 percent of voters to call their own referendums. It also sets a limit on the terms a president can serve to three from the current unlimited terms. The draft constitution was drawn up after deliberations by the 25 members of the council and after about 3,600 comments and 370 suggestions were made to the council's website. The council also used Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the public (Reuters)
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