Irish Minister: EU Treaty Vote Appears ‘No’

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) — Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern says substantial referendum returns show that Ireland has rejected the European Union reform treaty.

Electoral officials expect to confirm the result later Friday.

Ahern bases his conclusion on tallies of votes produced nationally by election observers as well as early official returns.

They show the “no” camp ahead in the vast majority of Ireland’s 43 electoral constituencies, while pro-treaty voters were clearly ahead in only a few.

The expected result would be a major blow to the 27-nation bloc. All member nations must approve the treaty for it to go into effect.