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Oui ou non: New Caledonia set for fresh vote on independence from France - Guardian
Sunday's vote could lay the foundations for the birth of a new nation in the Pacific after surprising support emerged in 2018 referendum

It's the final week of campaigning and two flags fly above the competing rallies, concerts, and campaign meetings: the French tricolour and the multi-coloured flag of Kanaky.

On Sunday, voters in New Caledonia will go to the polls for a second referendum on the political future of the French Pacific dependency.

More than 180,000 long-term residents of New Caledonia are registered to vote "Yes" for independence or "No" to remain within the French Republic.

Voting is not compulsory, so turnout will be crucial. Supporters and opponents of independence are on the streets this week in a final effort to mobilise their bases and convince uncertain citizens to participate on referendum day.

The Nouméa Accord signed in 1998, provided for up to three referendums to be held in the archipelago: in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Polls have closed and counting has begun (New Caledonia is UTC+11, one hour ahead of Sydney and one hour behind Auckland). Turnout was 79.63%, six points above from the first referendum two years ago.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 09:41:25 AM EST
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