Seoul referendum defeated, Liberian amendments remain uncertain

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August 30, 2011

SEOUL, South Korea: On August 24, residents in Seoul South Korea voted on their first referendum, whether to allow free school lunches to all students or just those who are of poor economic backgrounds. This measure was defeated, meaning that free lunches will be given to all students, because it did not reach the 33 percent participation rate that was needed. As a result, the Mayor of Seoul resigned a few days after the vote, having pledged before hand to do so if the measure was defeated. The Mayor was a member of the conservative political party and saw the free lunch program as a type of welfare that was unnecessary.[1] All previous referendums held in the country also failed to received the 33 percent participation rate.

A constitutional referendum was held in Liberia on August 23, with a week passing since the vote no clear results has been issued but preliminary results show the referendum being approved. Amid claims of invalid votes and ballot errors, the Liberian government is still trying to sort out the results. The referendum had sought to make amendments to the national constitution, changes included increasing the retirement age of Judges to 75, shortening the time a presidential candidate must live in the country, changing the date of national elections to November and lastly needing just a simple majority to elect the President.

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