NOUMEA, New Caledonia | Vote shows New Caledonia leaning against independence

NOUMEA, New Caledonia | Vote shows New Caledonia leaning against independence

NOUMEA, New Caledonia— Voters turned out in exceptional numbers Sunday for an independence referendum in the South Pacific territory of New Caledonia, with early results suggesting that voters favored keeping ties with France.

With results declared from 202 of the 284 polling stations, the “Non” vote against independence from France was leading with 60 percent of the 123,000 votes that had been counted, the office for the French High Commissioner said.

More than 174,000 registered voters were invited to answer the question: “Do you want New Caledonia to gain full sovereignty and become independent?” France has ruled New Caledonia since the mid-19th century.

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