Independence is mostly supported by indigenous males, while descendants of colonial settlers continue to insist on belonging to France. Under the Nouméa Accord, an independence referendum could be held three times, always on the condition that at least one-third of the members of the legislature support another call. The first was in 2018, the second was in October last year, and the third has now been announced. In the first, 56.4% rejected independence, and in the second, only 53.3%, and closer results are now expected, according to opinion polls.
After this was the last chance, according to Reuters, there are fears of riots as a result.
Complicating matters is the fact that chicken leaders have asked their members not to vote because the community is still mourning its members who died in the coronavirus pandemic. The mutated delta virus suddenly claimed many lives in September, striking chickens in particular. The natives declared a year of mourning. An unnamed journalist says the call is useful. According to data from the French embassy, only 30 percent of those eligible to vote by Sunday noon had cast their ballots, compared to much higher in previous polls this hour.
French President Emmanuel Macron previously stated that no matter what result will be achieved in the end, it must be accepted by everyone. However, New Caledonia is the hopeful base for Macron’s plan to increase its influence in the Pacific.
During colonial rule, canoes were confined to reserves and virtually excluded from the affairs of the island, against which they first revolted in 1878, shortly after the discovery of huge nickel deposits in the archipelago, which are now being mined by a French company.
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