New Caledonia Politics News

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The French Pacific islands of New Caledonia were voting Sunday 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.Some 18,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) from the French mainland, New Caledonia 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.

Voting in New Caledonia’s 284 polling stations opened at 8:00 am Sunday (2100 GMT Saturday) and was to end at 6.00 pm, with results expected the same evening.The participation rate was 73.68 percent at 5:00 pm, much higher than at the same time during local elections in 2014.

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