U.S. says Burundi constitutional referendum 'marred'

 U.S. says Burundi constitutional referendum marred

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday criticized last week's referendum in Burundi as being marred by a lack of transparency and voter intimidation and condemned the government's decision to suspend media outlets.

"The government allowed vigorous campaigning by the opposition during the designated two-week campaign period, but numerous cases of harassment and repression of referendum opponents in the months preceding the vote contributed to a climate of fear and intimidation," the State Department said in a statement.

The referendum on Thursday granted changes that could allow the current president of Burundi to stay in office until 2034.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Updated Date: May 22, 2018 00:07:08 IST