Macron hails New Caledonia rejecting independence
NNN: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that “a transition period” would begin for New Caledonia after voters overwhelmingly rejected independence, adding that “France is more beautiful” including the Pacific islands.
“A period of transition is beginning. Free from the binary option of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, now we must build a common project, recognizing and respecting the dignity of all ”, said the head of state in a recorded message.
He said the country could be “proud” of the process designed to resolve the status of the islands under which residents were asked in three separate referendums if they wanted to separate from France.
“Tonight France is more beautiful because New Caledonia has decided to remain part of it,” Macron added.
With all the votes counted, 96.49 percent were against independence, while only 3.51 percent were in favor, with a turnout of just 43.90 percent, the results of the high commission showed. of the islands.
Pro-independence activists boycotted the vote, saying they wanted it postponed until September because “a fair campaign” was impossible with a high number of coronavirus infections.
Observers say the result could exacerbate ethnic tensions, as the poorer Kanak indigenous community generally favors independence over the richer white community.
Macron made no direct mention of the boycott, but admitted that voters were “deeply divided” and expressed his condolences to “all those who have lost a loved one.”
Source Credit: TheGuardian
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