Referendum in New Caledonia: crushing victory of the “no” to independence

There was little doubt about the result. The “no” to independence wins overwhelmingly, Sunday, December 12, during the third referendum of self-determination in New Caledonia, marked by a record abstention after the call of the separatists to shun the ballot, according to the results partial.

With 96.49% of the vote, against only 3.51% for the supporters of the “yes”, according to the final results communicated by the High Commission.

→ REPORT. Referendum in New Caledonia: “There is nobody, it feels weird”

“Tonight France is more beautiful because New Caledonia has decided to stay there”, declared from Paris Emmanuel Macron. “France is proud to be your homeland (…) It is up to all of us to write our history with ambition and respect, a history that unambiguously remembers what it owes to the Kanaks, the first people, recognized by the agreement of Nouméa (…), a story which recognizes without pretense the contribution of the Caledonians who then arrived on the pebble to plunge their roots there (…) ”, developed the president in a televised address.

Low participation

Two previous elections on November 4, 2018 and October 4, 2020, organized as part of the decolonization process of the Nouméa Accord, were won by the pro-France with 56.7% and then 53.3% of the vote.

This time, the separatists decided not to participate in the vote which they wished to postpone until September 2022, citing the impossibility of organizing “A fair campaign” while the archipelago has been affected since September by the Covid-19 epidemic, and the Kanak population is plunged into mourning.

The slogan of non-participation of the FLNKS and all the nationalists seems to have been followed to the letter in view of the participation which stands at 43.90%, in free fall compared to previous referendums.

In the independentist commune of Thio (east), the two offices located in the Kanak tribes had recorded only two and four voters, according to the head of the polling stations of the town hall.

The separatists have already made it known that they would not recognize the result of the ballot and that they would contest it before international bodies. New Caledonia has been included since 1986 on the list of non-self-governing territories to be decolonized by the UN, which has also sent experts to ensure the proper conduct of the ballot.

“No incident”

“There was no overflow, no incident, no obstacle to movement and access to polling stations”, said the High Commissioner, adding that the “Security system remains reinforced until the announcement of the results” final Monday 13 December.

→ REPORT. In New Caledonia, a referendum under high surveillance

Residents of working-class neighborhoods in Noumea criticized this debauchery of security means, which they considered to be a ” provocation “. While the State had deployed an impressive security device – 2,000 gendarmes and police, 130 vehicles, 30 armored vehicles and air assets – for fear of seeing this archipelago ignite which has already experienced episodes of unrest, the ballot went off without incident.


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