New Caledonia votes on independence from France

4 November, 2018 12:00 AM printer

NOUMEA: The French Pacific islands of New Caledonia vote Sunday on whether to become an independent nation, in a closely-watched test of support for France in one of its many territories scattered around the globe, reports AFP.

Some 18,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) from the French mainland, New Caledonia is home to a quarter of the world’s known supplies of nickel—a vital electronics component—and is a strategic foothold for France in the Pacific.   Some 175,000 people are eligible to vote in the remote islands fringed by spectacular beaches, with opinion polls predicting a large majority in favour of staying French.