'Free from binary choice': New Caledonia votes to stay with France

WION Web Team
Paris Published: Dec 12, 2021, 10:59 PM(IST)

Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( AFP )

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In the third referendum on Sunday, citizens voted overwhelmingly to remain with France with over 96 per cent against independence.

As citizens in Caledonia voted to stay with France, President Macron declared that "France is more beautiful because New Caledonia has decided to stay part of it".

In the third referendum on Sunday, citizens voted overwhelmingly to remain with France with over 96 per cent against independence.

Macron hailed the result declaring that, "A period of transition is beginning. Free from the binary choice of 'Yes' or 'No', we must now build a common project, while recognising and respecting the dignity of everyone."

Also Read: Covid-free New Caledonia record first cases of coronavirus

The pro-independence groups boycotted the referendum as they asserted that the pandemic would rule out a fair ballot.

The country with a population of just 270,000 produces nickel and is considered a territory of strategic importance in the Indo-Pacific

Caledonia had decided not to break away from France in the votes held twice earlier. The country had witnessed violence decades ago among people who wanted to stay with France and those who wanted to break away. 

According to the United Nations, the country's population comprises 41 per cent Melanesian and 24 per cent of European origin.

(With inputs from Agencies)
 

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