Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

New Caledonia holds final referendum on independence from France

By Grayson Quay The Week

Voters in the French territory of New Caledonia vote Sunday on whether to remain a part of France, The Associated Press reports.

New Caledonia, an archipelago in the South Pacific with a population of around 250,000, became a French colony in 1853, gained equal citizenship for its native inhabitants in 1957, received a degree of autonomy in 1988, and rejected previous independence referenda in 2018 and 2020. In 2018, 43.6 percent of voters backed independence. In 2020, the share of voters who favored independence rose to 46.7 percent.

Sunday’s referendum is the third and final such vote permitted under the 1998 Nouméa Accord. The agreement also stipulates that, if voters choose for a third time to remain part of France, “the political partners shall meet to consider the situation thus created” and to re-negotiate the terms of New Caledonia’s semi-autonomy.


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