New Caledonia votes on independence from France

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Vote in New Caledonia being closely watched as test of support for France in its many territories around the world.

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Voting is under way on the French Pacific islands of New Caledonia on whether to become an independent nation, in a closely watched test of support for France in one of its many territories scattered around the globe, reports The Guardian.

New Caledonia, which is 18,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) from France, is home to a quarter of the world’s known supplies of nickel – a vital electronics component – and is a strategic foothold for France in the Pacific.

Home to 269,000 people, New Caledonia is one of a handful of French island outposts – a legacy of the country’s 19th-century empire – which retain strategic importance.

Voting in New Caledonia’s 284 polling stations opened at 8am local time on Sunday and was to end at 6pm, with results expected Sunday evening.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.

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