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Falkland Islands Referendum: British people want to be British. 99,8 per cent vote "Yes"

Falkland Islands Referendum: British people want to be British. 99,8 per cent vote "Yes"

12-03-2013

Today the Falklands Islands Government announced the result of the referendum on the status of the islands, conducted during 10 and 11 March 10 2013. Accordingly 1,513 Falklanders opted for and three Falklanders voted against the Falkland Islands to remain a part of the United Kingdom. The turnout was high at 92 per cent. One vote was considered invalid.

The head of the international observer mission finds that the “referendum process was free and fair, reflecting the democratic will of the voters of the Falkland Islands" (Source here). 

An interesting observation ist that seven countries had sent referendum observers: Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, the USA and New Zealand.
Yet Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile officially support Argentina's position on the Malvinas. (Source here). 

The Ambassador of Argentina Alicia Castro said that Argentina respects the people's way of life of the Falkland Islands and their wish to be British. Yet, the territory they are living on wouldn't be British (Source here). 

Background

In June 2012 the government of the Falkland Islands decided to hold a consultative (non-binding) referendum. This move came about shortly before the 30th anniversary of the Falkland War between the United Kingdom and Argentina. In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands, following their historical claims that the Malvinas (as Argentina calls the Falkland Islands) are part of their territory.

The dispute about the sovereignty of the islands roots way back in history. It already started with the question who discovered the Falklands in the 16th century: were it the Portuguese, the Spanish or the British? The United Kingdom as well as Argentina claim responsibility for the Falkland Islands/ the Malvinas. Britain argues that there is a continuous British administration of the islands since 1833. Argentina responds that it gained the Falkland Islands from Spain, after becoming independent in 1816.

Text by Dr. Klaus Hofmann

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