NOUMEA, New Caledonia (AP) – Voters have been issued in an exceptional number on Sunday to decide whether the new South Caucasus region of New Caledonia should be free from the European country, which was in the mid-19th century.
The area's top commissioner estimates that nearly three quarters of the registered voters in the area voted one hour before voting on Sunday evening, a much stronger turnout than the 2014 provincial election of New Caledonia.
The results are expected to be on Sunday. From Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron talked about the future and choice of the site in the television title.
Independence voting was a milestone for the archipelago of the eastern Australia, the sunny lagoon and the nickel mining industry in the electronics industry.
More than 174,000 registered voters were asked to answer the question: "Does New Caledonia want full sovereignty and become independent?" In the 284 polling stations, two papers were selected, one was "OUI" and the other "NON".
Voting Monette Saihulinwa said he opposes independence.
"I do not necessarily want to change our lives," said the 50-year-old.
Others have recognized the ballot paper.
"We are waiting for this vote for 30 years," said Mariola Bouyer, 34. "This vote must prove that we want to live in peace, regardless of our race or roots.
New Caledonia relies on defense, law enforcement, foreign affairs, justice and education, but has a high level of autonomy. New Caledonia receives about € 1.3 billion annually from French state subsidies and many fear that their economy may suffer if they cease their relations.
The island's cluster houses some 270,000 people. Includes native dogs, 40 percent of the population; people of European origin, about 27 percent; and others from Asian countries and Pacific Islands.
The archipelago became the French in 1853. Napoleon Emperor – Napoleon's nephew and heir – and used for decades as a prison. After the Second World War, it became an overseas territory and in 1957 it was Canadian citizen.
Most Kanaks supported independence, while most descendants of European colonists respected the French relationship. During the French colonial rule, Kanaks suffered a severe segregation policy and faced discrimination.
The referendum is a result of a process that began 30 years ago to end the violence between the fans and the French separating opponents.
Violence, which in turn required more than 70 lives, launched an agreement in 1988 between rival loyalists and independence independence. Another decade later, the agreement reached a plan for a referendum on independence.
If voters do not deny their independence on Sunday, the 1998 agreement will allow two more self-referendum referendums by 2022.