The independentists had boycotted the referendum
On Sunday 12 December, New Caledonia held its third referendum in three years. Voters had to answer the following question: “Do you want New Caledonia to become fully sovereign and independent? 96.49% of voters answered No. Last year, the No vote obtained 53.26% of the votes. This score is explained by the fact that the independentists decided to boycott the referendum. They wanted the referendum to be postponed to next year in order to mourn the victims of the covid. There have been 280 deaths since 6 September (for a country of 271 000 inhabitants). More than half of the victims are Kanak. The non-independents felt that this reason was just a pretext. They wanted the date of 12 December to be maintained. The State therefore decided to maintain it.
They listened to their independence leaders
The big question of this vote was to know if the pro-independence voters would follow the instructions of the political leaders. Nothing was sure since these same leaders are often very contested, especially by young people. The answer is clear: the independentists followed the instructions because the YES to independence obtained only 3.5% of the votes.
The independentists boycott Macron’s minister
This does not solve anything. Emmanuel Macron’s Minister for Overseas Territories is currently in Noumea to talk to those who want to. This will not be easy since the independents have made it known that they will not discuss before the election of the new president of the Republic. The elections will take place next April. Emmanuel Macron is standing for re-election.