96.5% of the votes cast in the referendum were in favor of remaining as a French territory, rejecting independence. President Emmanuel Macron responded: “France is more beautiful because New Caledonia has decided to stay.”
Twice, the question had been put to Kanaks and French people living on the island. And twice, the result was clear-cut in favour of remaining in France. But that is not enough, and those in favour of independence want to force people to vote again to achieve their goal.