Home News New Caledonia referendum: South Pacific territory rejects independence from France

New Caledonia referendum: South Pacific territory rejects independence from France


A woman casts her vote at a polling station in the referendum on independence on the French South Pacific territory of New Caledonia in Nouméa on 4 October 2020

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Turnout in the referendum was high

People in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia have narrowly rejected independence from France in a referendum.

The archipelago voted to remain French with 53.26% of votes, according to final results reported by AFP news agency. Turnout – at 85.6% – was high.

In a similar vote two years ago, the margin was slightly wider, with 56.7% voting to stay French.

New Caledonia has been a French territory for nearly 170 years.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the result as a “sign of confidence in the republic”, adding he also felt “humility” in view of the results.

The referendum was part of a series of votes agreed two decades ago, following bouts of violence in the 1980s over the issue of independence between the islands’ indigenous Kanak people and descendants of European settlers.

Kanaks represent around 40% of the population, while Europeans, mostly born in the territory, make up about a third. Others come from other Pacific islands or are of mixed heritage.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Kanak independence supporters wave flags after the referendum on independence in Nouméa, the territory’s capital

Several agreements were signed including the 1998 Noumea Accord, which set out a roadmap for greater autonomy for the territory.

Under this agreement, New Caledonia is allowed up to three referendums on independence. A third referendum can take place by 2022, if requested by a third of the local assembly.

New Caledonia has large deposits of nickel, a vital component in manufacturing electronics, and is seen by France as a strategic political and economic asset in the region.

It enjoys a large degree of autonomy but depends heavily on France for matters like defence and education and still receives large subsidies from Paris.

It is one of the UN’s 17 “non-self governing territories” – where the process of decolonisation has not been completed.

France first claimed the islands, home to some 270,000 people, in 1853.



Source link

Must Read

OJOS Tough Rugged Armor Cover Designed for Apple Watch Series 6 SE Series 5 Series 4 44MM – Black

Price: (as of - Details) Dual-layered with shock-absorbent interior and rigid exteriorRaised bezels for bolstered screen protectionFull access to all features with precise...

Gosmartkart® Good Vibes Only Printed Designer Hard PC Slim Light Weight Back Cover Case Compatible with Apple iPhone X/XS (Pink & Green) (Gsk-3053) (Made...

Price: (as of - Details) Gosmartkart hard back cover/cases perfectly fits your phone.These slim light weight cases are made with high precision moulds...

Enthopia MacBook Pro 16″ A2141 (2019), Plastic Hard Case & Keyboard Cover with Logo Cut (Black)

Price: (as of - Details) Great fit for MacBook Pro 16" A2141 (2019). With Logo cut, Apple Logo Shine through the case. Two...

(Renewed) Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (Aura Red, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers

Price: (as of - Details) This is 15.94 centimeters (6.3-inch) Dynamic AMOLED Infinity O Display with FHD+ resolution 2280 X 1080 (401 ppi),...

Nillkin Case for Samsung Galaxy M30s M 30s Super Frosted Hard Back Cover PC Black Color

Price: (as of - Details) Use imported environmental PC materials. Formed by the highly precise injection molding machine with high temperature. Both sides...
error: Content is protected !!