Voters are expected to deny breaking away from France’s control following nearly 170 years despite increasing support for the transfer.
It is intended to put an end to a battle between the largely pro-independence native Kanak inhabitants, and also the descendants of European settlers called”Caldoches”.
That violence from the 1980s culminated in a bloody, protracted hostage crisis in 1988 that watched 19 separatists killed on one side, along with six police and special forces on another.
New Caledonia’s initial referendum in 2018 led to the maintenance of the status quo with 56.7 percent of their vote.
However, the 2018 outcome still marked a change towards pro-independence sympathies, increasing campaigners’ expects that it might break loose.
“Do you need New Caledonia to gain its entire sovereignty and be independent?” Is the issue put to voters?
Political observers say plenty”Yes” to liberty is improbable, but there have been no opinion polls that will help provide advice.
“I’d be amazed if the Yes-vote won,” explained Pierre-Christophe Pantz, a Noumea-based expert in geopolitics.
He stated, however, the gap between the two camps might narrow if portions of those thousands of thousands of voters who abstained last time could be persuaded to join with the liberty camp.
If liberty is rejected, there’s the choice of another referendum from 2022.
New Caledonia, located between Australia and Fiji and occasionally called”The Pebble”, has 270,000 inhabitants.
It’s been French since 1853 and is now among those very few remaining EU outposts from the area.
The market’s mainstays are the creation of metals, particularly nickel of that New Caledonia is a significant worldwide manufacturer, tourism, and financial aid from mainland France.
The French authorities, from over 16,000 kilometers off, subsidize the land with approximately 1.5 billion euros each year, the equivalent of over 15 percent of New Caledonia’s gross domestic product.
In case New Caledonia was a nation today, it’d be from the world’s top 30 markets in terms of GDP per capita.
There have been significant anxieties in the runup to Sunday’s vote.
“Now the political setting is poisonous and there isn’t any more dialogue,” explained Philippe Dunoyer, a lawmaker whose celebration” Caledonia Collectively” needs to stay French.
A particular authorization permitting the French flag to be utilized in effort areas angered the pro-independence Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front that accuses the French authorities of taking sides against liberty.
Loyalist parties, meanwhile, assert that rules limiting the right to vote at the referendum unfairly assist the pro-independence campaign.
Voters will need to have been resident in New Caledonia always for the last 25 years to be qualified to vote unless they had been born there or even have Kanak administrative standing.
In case New Caledonia votes for liberty, France would, following a transition period, hand.
Paris would also quit paying its annual subsidy, a terrifying prospect for both remainder parties that have shaped a loyalist coalition.
“We can’t live without French cash,” stated Gil Bridal, the team’s campaign manager.
However, Charles Washetine, spokesman for the Party of Kanak Liberation, stated”our nation is lucky enough to be entirely in control of its affairs”.