15th November 08:29 AM
New Caledonia rejects bid for independence
By Semi Turaga
Monday 05/11/2018
Voters cast their ballots for or against the independence of New Caledonia, November 4 [Photo: BBC]

Voters in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia have rejected a bid for independence.

Final results showed that 56.4% chose to remain part of France while 43.6% voted to leave ‑ a tighter result than some polls had predicted.

Turnout was about 81%.

The vote was promised in a 1988 deal that put an end to a violent campaign for independence.

President Emmanuel Macron said it showed "confidence in the French republic".

The referendum passed peacefully but some unrest was reported after polls closed.

Cars and a shop were set ablaze in the capital, Nouméa and some roads were closed by protesters.

New Caledonia has large deposits of nickel, a vital component in manufacturing electronics, and is seen by France as a strategic political and economic asset in the region.

[Source: BBC]

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