New Caledonians vote against independence, early referendum results suggest

The people of New Caledonia appear to have voted against independence in Sunday’s historic referendum.

Early results indicate more than 60 per cent of voters in the territory have cast their ballot in favour of staying with France.

In a televised address from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said a majority of voters chose to remain part of France and he pledged “there is no other path than that of dialogue” on the future of New Caledonia.

Pro-independence leaders still hope they can win future referendums due to be held in 2020 and 2022.

But loyalist politicians argue there is no need for more votes in the wake of this result

Poll reveals ethnic divide

The referendum has exposed social and economic fault lines in New Caledonia, and a clear ethnic divide was on display this morning in the capital, Noumea.

But the atmosphere at voting booths was calm, with voters quietly forming long, orderly queues at polling stations.

They were asked to vote Yes or No to a simple question: “Do you want New Caledonia to accede to full sovereignty and become independent?”

The independence movement has drawn its main support from the indigenous people of New Caledonia, the Kanaks, who argue that they have a right to self-determination free from France.

In contrast, many New Caledonians with a European background favour remaining with Paris.

Voters at booths in heavily Kanak parts of Noumea voiced strong support for independence.

Kevin cast his vote for Yes at a school in the suburb of Riviere Salle on Noumea’s northern outskirts.

“When I put my vote in the box, I almost cried because I thought of all the dads, all the mums who really fought hard for this,” he told the ABC.

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New Caledonia votes ‘non’ to independence from France
Voters arrive to cast their ballots in the referendum on New Caledonia’s independence from France. Photograph: Theo Rouby/AFP/Getty
Voters arrive to cast their ballots in the referendum on New Caledonia’s independence from France. Photograph: Theo Rouby/AFP/Getty

Initial results put no vote at 56.9%, as Macron says it’s ‘vote of confidence’ in French values

The South Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia has voted against independence from France in a long-awaited referendum that capped a 30-year long decolonisation process.

Based on provisional results and with a participation rate of nearly 80%, the no vote stood at 56.9% around 1pm GMT, local TV station NC La 1ère reported on its website.

“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.

The referendum was the first auto-determination vote to be held in a French territory since Djibouti in the Horn of Africa voted for independence in 1977.

Voters in the largely self-governing territory had been asked the question: “Do you want New Caledonia to gain full sovereignty and become independent?”

Macron said he understood the disappointment of those who wanted independence, but added that the French state would ensure liberty, equality and fraternity for everyone.

Tensions have long run deep between pro-independence indigenous Kanaks and descendants of colonial settlers who remain loyal to Paris.

Over the past decade, relations between the two groups have improved markedly, but the no vote outcome was well below some early polls, which could encourage nationalists to try for a new referendum in coming years.

During a visit to the archipelago in May, Macron acknowledged the “pains of colonisation” and saluted the “dignified” campaign for autonomy led by the Kanaks. He and his administration sought to strike a neutral tone on the vote.

New Caledonia’s economy is underpinned by French annual subsidies of some €1.3 billion ($US1.48 billion), nickel deposits that are estimated to represent 25% of the world’s total, and tourism.

It enjoys a large degree of autonomy but depends heavily on France for matters such as defence and education. Its position gives France a foothold in the Indo-Pacific region where China is expanding its presence.

The New Caledonia archipelago lies more than 16,700 km (10,377 miles) from France. It became a French colony in 1853.

Under colonial rule the Kanaks were confined to reserves and excluded from much of the island’s economy. Fighting broke out in the mid-1980s amid festering anger over poverty and poor job opportunities.

A 1988 massacre in a cave on the island of Ouvéa left 19 indigenous separatists and two French soldiers dead and intensified talks on the island’s future. A 1998 deal provided for a referendum on independence to be held by the end of 2018.

Under the terms of that deal, in the event of a no vote, two further referendums can be held before 2022.


Chairman ULMWP Benny Wenda speech West Papuan To Be Unite

VANUATU – West Papuan Independent Leader and chairman of ULMWP, Benny Wenda Give speech after elected as chairman ULMWP replaced former ULMWP chairman Otto Motte.

Benny Wenda message to the people of West Papua, imigran who was born in West Papua, including people who are working in public services in entire West Papua to come together and unite against our one common enemy which Indonesia government. It is time to unite and stop the gossip among our self on the media, social media, and divide between us, but how to we are focusing our attention of Indonesia colonial strategy to destroy our struggle.

Our enemy is Indonesia. Our enemy will laughing at us, when we are dividing our unity. We should stop dance, while our people are suffering. We carry our people bounds who was dying, simply fight for our mother land.

We cannot fight our own. Therefore, we need everyone support, if you are West Papuan, Indonesian citizens, International supporter, European, South American Latin contenan, Australian, African, Asians, Russian who are simpatice for West Papuan struggle to stand solidarity with West Papua.

More video

Komite nasional papua barat (KNPB)pusat kini bangkit dan kembali ke jalan untuk menyuarakan kemerdekaan Papua.

Hal ini di sampaikan oleh ketua umum KNPB Agus Kosay bersama pengurus KNPB lainnya dan anggota di halaman Rusunawa Waena, Selasa (30/10/2018).

Agus mengatakan melalui kongres II KNPB yang di laksanakan pada 23-25 Oktober 2018 yang lalu telah melahirkan beberapa hasil pemikira KNPB

Di antaranya mobilisasi umum menuju mogok sipil nasional sebagai agenda aksi nasional bangsa Papua,kepada rakyat Papua barat dan seluruh komponen perjuangan untuk kembali mengakui TPNPB sebagai satu-satunya militer Papua barat.

Dan kembali memperkuat lembaga politik bangsa Papua sebagai wadah reprenstatif Papua dan alat demokrasi partisipatif rakyat Papua,kembali mendukung persatuan diplomat dalam wadah koordinatif ULMWP di internasional.

Agus mengatakan KNPB sebagai media nasional rakyat Papua barat terus berjuang demi terwujudnya hak agenda penentuan nasib sendiri bagi rakyat Papua melalui mekanisme referendum sebagai solusi.

“Hari ini secara terbuka kami sampaikan kami akan kembali turun ke jalan maka siapapun itu siapkan diri kalian dan atribut KNPB untuk mari bersama kita berjuang kembali,”tegasnya.

Selain itu dalam kongres II KNPB menghasilkan struktur organisasi yang baru seperti untuk ketua umum Agus Kosay,ketua satu Warpo Wetipo dan Serkertaris umum Feronika Hubi.


Sumber (Global news)