Territory seeking independence from France publishes vote results — Analysis

The Pacific French territory of New Caledonia voted overwhelmingly to reject independence from France on Sunday. The ballot was marred by a low turnout after secessionists boycotted the referendum.

After all the ballots have been counted, the ‘No’ vote gained by a whopping 95.5% to three.5%, native broadcaster NC La 1ere reported.

Nevertheless, the reported turnout was low, with solely 43.9% of eligible voters on the Pacific island of some 271,000 coming to the polling stations, based on the broadcaster.

The indigenous Kanak inhabitants, who’re believed to be the principle supporters of parting methods with Paris, known as for a boycott of the referendum over a 12-month mourning interval they introduced after a spike in infections and deaths from Covid-19 in September.

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It was the third such independence vote in New Caledonia. The outcomes have been a lot tighter in 2018 and 2020, with these looking for to stay with France solely successful by 57% to 53%, respectively.

The collection of independence referendums came about on the island in keeping with a 1988 deal, which adopted a violent battle between supporters and opponents of independence within the Nineteen Eighties.

French President Emmanuel Macron has welcomed the results of Sunday’s plebiscite, saying that “the Caledonians have chosen to stay French” and insisting that they “determined that freely.”

The vote outcomes have been touted as a significant win for Macron as New Caledonia is alleged to be the cornerstone of his plan to spice up French affect within the Indo-Pacific area.

“France grew to become extra lovely as a result of New Caledonia has determined to remain,” Macron mentioned in a televised tackle on Sunday.

Nevertheless, the president acknowledged “the voters remained deeply divided through the years” on the independence concern, including {that a} “interval of transition is now beginning” on the island.



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