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French Somaliland constitutional referendum, 1958

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Title: French Somaliland constitutional referendum, 1958  
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Subject: French Somaliland, Afars and Issas independence referendum, 1977, Djiboutian parliamentary election, 1997, Djiboutian presidential election, 2005, Djiboutian parliamentary election, 2013
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French Somaliland constitutional referendum, 1958

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

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 reports of widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum.[4] The majority of those who voted "no" were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later.[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, p115
  4. ^ Kevin Shillington (2005) Encyclopedia of African history, CRC Press, p360
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