The island territory of the Pacific French, New Caledonia will hold a referendum on independence from France on 4 October, a month later than planned due to the pandemic of sars coronavirus, according to the French government.
Originally scheduled for 6 September, the vote has been ” postponed to 4 October 2020, because of the consequences of the health crisis “, said Wednesday to the press the spokesman of the French government Sibeth Ndiaye.
The second vote on independence, following a referendum in November 2018, when 57% of voters chose to stay in France.
The government in paris had already proposed the 4 October as the new date, but on June 12, the majority of the members of the Parliament of New Caledonia has voted for on October 25.
The local elections in France which were to be held on Sunday, have been postponed for three months due to the crisis of the sars coronavirus, and the group’s pro-independence FLNKS argued that the campaign had “encroached” on the referendum.
The center-right party Caledonia Together opposed to independence, was also favourable to the 25th of October to ensure that participation was as high as in 2018, when 81% of voters.
Three votes granted
French territory since 1853, New Caledonia is an island territory isolated from the south-west Pacific with approximately 270 000 inhabitants.
It is situated about 2000 km (1242 miles) east of Australia – about 18000 km (11 184 miles) from the metropolitan France.
The majority of the population of New Caledonia is composed of Melanesian indigenous locally known under the name of the Kanak people (39%) and people of european origin known as Caldoche (27%).
The violent clashes between Kanaks and Caldoches in the 1980s came to an end by a reconciliation negotiated by the French, attempting to rebalance the wealth and share the political power.
A historic agreement of 1988 between France and the supporters and opponents of independence has given the islands more autonomy.
The agreement also stated that there could be up to three votes on independence until 2022. If the election of October 4, does not give the independence, there will be a vote.