1961 Somali constitutional referendum

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A constitutional referendum was held in Somalia on 20 June 1961 to vote on the new constitution for the country created the previous year by the union of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. It was approved by 90.56% of voters.[1]

In the Somaliland region the Somali National League (SNL) party encouraged a boycott of the referendum, and 60% of the approximately 100,000 votes from Somaliland opposed the constitution. However the south of the country had 1,952,660 voters, effectively giving the south the power of veto, and obfuscated the fact there was no popular mandate for a union.[2]


Choice Votes %
For 1,756,216 90.58
Against 183,000 9.44
Invalid/blank votes 9,132
Total 1,948,348 100
Source: African Elections Database


  1. ^ Elections in Somalia African Elections Database
  2. ^ Poore, Brad. "Somaliland: Shackled to a Failed State". Stanford Journal of International Law. (45) 1.