1958 French Somaliland constitutional referendum

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A referendum on the new constitution of France was held in French Somaliland on 28 September 1958 as part of a wider referendum held across the French Union. The new constitution would see the country become part of the new French Community if accepted, or result in independence if rejected. It was approved by 75.24% of voters.[1]


The referendum result was in favour of a continued association with France; 75% voted "yes", while 25% were opposed.[2] This was partly due to a combined "yes" vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.[3] There were also allegations of widespread vote rigging. According to the UN, there was an inordinate number of invalid ballots in Somali districts, which it suggested implied that the plebiscite had been manipulated.[4] The majority of those who had voted "no" were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, then Vice President of the Government Council.[3]

Choice Votes %
For 8,662 75.24
Against 2,851 24.76
Invalid/blank votes 70
Total 11,583 100
Registered voters/turnout 15,914 72.78
Source: Direct Democracy


  1. ^ Frankreich, 28. September 1958 : Verfassung Direct Democracy
  2. ^ Djibouti - History Africa Travelling
  3. ^ a b Lowell Barrington (2006) After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States, University of Michigan Press, p. 115
  4. ^ Report. United Nations, General Assembly. 1967. p. 21. Retrieved 18 December 2014.