As Tropical Cyclone Ruby fades into memory for New Caledonia, the results of the referendum on independence that was held on December 12th are still being digested.
The referendum was the last of three that were envisaged under the Noumea Accord, which came into effect in 1998. This in turn was enacted to bring about peace and stability further to “Les Évenements” – a period of instability and violence that stemmed from friction and conflict between the French state and the Kanaky people seeking self-determination and sovereignty.
In 2018, the first referendum was held. The vote was in favour of remaining a part of France by a margin of 57% to 43%. Last year the second referendum saw the margin narrow with 53% voting “Non” to independence and 47% voting “Oui”.
The Noumea Accord allows for the third vote to be held at any time up to October 2022. Despite calls from the pro-independence groups to delay the referendum till the second half of next year, the French government insisted that it should be held on December 12th.
Please click here to read the full “Third time has little charm: New Caledonia’s referendum on independence” article published at The University of Melbourne Election Watch, written by Griffith Asia Institute Pacific Hub Lead, Dr Tess Newton Cain.