Regardless of the general consequence, assist for independence is rising within the New Caledonia, which was colonized by France in 1853. Greater than 46.7% of ballots solid had been in favor of independence, up from 43.3% within the final vote in November 2018.
Turnout was over 85% because the ballot befell with none masks or social distancing measures. The pandemic has largely spared the archipelago, which has saved Covid-19 case numbers very low by drastically decreasing worldwide flights and imposing obligatory quarantine for all arrivals.
The referendum was a part of a decolonization plan underneath the Nouméa Accord, agreed in 1998, which ended a lethal battle between the principally pro-independence indigenous Kanak inhabitants and the descendants of European settlers. One other referendum could be held by 2022 if no less than a 3rd of the native legislature requests it.
Positioned between Australia and Fiji, New Caledonia provides France a strategic foothold within the Pacific Ocean, the place China is increasing its affect, in addition to essential nickel reserves. It has a inhabitants of 270,000.