Today: Wednesday, 24 April 2024 year

New Caledonians vote to stay French in tense referendum

New Caledonians vote to stay French in tense referendum

New Caledonians decided to stay in France, people don’t incline to lose the official ties with the country that has ruled New Caledonia over centuries, Independent reported on Monday.

The Sunday referendum in New Caledonia showed amazing results: people want to be a part of France. President Macron welcomed such a wise decision as a “historic step”. The high commissioner’s office confirmed that 43.6 per cent were supporting independence from France, while 56.4 per cent of the voters said no to the independence.

On Sunday, the voters in the largely self-governing territory had been asked, “Do you want New Caledonia to gain full sovereignty and become independent?” Most of them preferred not to be independent of France because the economic and cultural ties between the French Pacific territory and France are too strong.

The referendum’s results will help to end four years of violent unrest culminating in the killings of 25 people during a hostage crisis. The separatist movement became weaker, New Caledonians want to live in a safe and peaceful place and hope France will support them as usual.

“The New Caledonians have chosen to remain French … It is a vote of confidence in the French republic, its future and its values,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech on French television.

New Caledonian political leaders warned of possible violence by disappointed Kanak youths as several cars were burned in the hours following the announcement of the result. The Republicans warmly welcomed the result of the referendum, saying that General de Gaulle told New Caledonians they have a French role to play in this part of the world. “You are a piece of France, you are Austral France,” said the legendary French leader more than half a century ago.