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French New Caledonia ended its third independence referendum and decided to stay in France

French New Caledonia ended its third independence referendum and decided to stay in France

On December 12, 2021 local time, Nouméa, the capital of New Caledonia, is holding the third and final independence referendum in New Caledonia, a French overseas territory. People’s Vision Map

On December 12, local time, the French overseas dependency New Caledonia held its third and last referendum as previously agreed. The voting results showed that a total of 96.49% of the valid votes opposed independence. According to the final result, New Caledonia will remain in France.

According to Reuters on December 12, French President Macron said in a televised speech in the capital Paris, “The people of New Caledonia have made the decision to stay in France. France will respect this result and start a transitional period for the common future of New Caledonia and France. Regarding the low turnout in the New Caledonian referendum, he also said, “We know that voters’ attitudes are very divided, and the turnout in this referendum is lower than the previous two referendums. From now on, we must prepare for a transition period, which will guide us to ‘establish a common plan’. He revealed that Sébastien Lecornu, the country’s overseas territory minister, would “listen to the local people and prepare for the new stage”.

On the 12th local time, New Caledonia held its third independence referendum, but because the local independence faction called on the public to boycott the vote before the referendum, the turnout was only 43.9%, which was very different from the previous two referendums, which exceeded 80%. The root cause of this independence referendum is the Accord de Nouméa (Accord de Nouméa) reached between the French government and the independence and Remainers of New Caledonia in 1998. This agreement assigns part of the powers of the French government to the government of New Caledonia and establishes a 20-year decolonization process for New Caledonia. The agreement also stipulates that New Caledonia can hold three independence referendums. In November 2018 and October 2020, New Caledonia held two referendums, both of which were won by the Frenchists.

Last June, representatives of New Caledonia and the French government reached an agreement in Paris that the two sides would start a “stabilization and convergence” after the third independence referendum on December 12 this year. In June 2023, the two sides will hold a “program referendum”: according to the results of the third referendum, if New Caledonia decides to stay in France, the two sides will hold a referendum on the region’s new status in the French Republic.

New Caledonia is located in the South Pacific Ocean near the Tropic of Cancer. New Caledonia became a French colony in 1853 and a French overseas territory in 1946. At present, there are 18.5 million eligible voters. In 1986, New Caledonia was included in the United Nations list of decolonized Non-Self-Governing Areas.

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