New Caledonia votes to remain part of France

5 November, 2018 12:00 AM printer

NOUMEA: The Pacific islands of New Caledonia voted Sunday to remain part of France in an independence referendum that showed support for Paris in one of its many far-flung but strategic outposts, 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 foothold for France in the Pacific where China is increasing its influence.

On the final count, 56.4 percent of people had rejected the proposition that New Caledonia become independent, a clear but smaller-than-expected victory for loyalists to the mainland.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “immense pride that we have taken this historic step together” in a televised address to the nation, adding it was “a sign of confidence in the French republic, in its future and its values.”


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