The New Caledonia referendum has not so anticipated results. The natives asked for independence for a long and the South Pacific Archipelago went for the referendum. 53.3% of voters chose to remain with France while 46.7% were for independence.
This was an attempt to settle tensions between the native Kanaks and the residents who want to remain part of France. New Caledonia has been part of France since 1853.
There were more than 180,000 voters who had the same question of gaining full independence and sovereignty.
There was a huge queue to vote. People stood in the hot sun to vote for the referendum even for hours, reported France 24. Few of the polling stations remained operational even after stipulated time to let everyone cast the vote.
There were peaceful demonstrations as well for independent New Caledonia. However, the majority of the people decided against it.
Many told France 24, that without the support of France, a New Caledonia cannot function properly. Many spoke about funding universities as well, especially students.
However, the native Kanaks said that they need to go back to the old way of working, and modern life does not suit them.
Another similar referendum took place a couple of years ago and 56.6% of voters choose to stay with Paris.
New Caledonia now has 270,000 inhabitants including the native Kanaks.
The archipelago first came under France in 1853 under Napoleon III. It was used as a prison colony for many years. It was granted as an overseas territory after World War II. In 1957, all the native Kanaks were granted French Citizenship.