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article imageFalkland (Malvinas) Islands holding vote over political status

By Igor I. Solar     Mar 11, 2013 in World
Port Stanley - The Falkland Islanders began voting on Sunday 10 in a referendum to decide whether they want to remain an overseas territory of Britain; the voting will continue today, amid tensions with Argentina over the sovereignty of the South Atlantic archipelago.
About 1,672 British nationals, from a total of about 2,900 residents of the Falklands, will be voting in a Referendum that the Argentine government has described as “meaningless” and "illegitimate", adding that is not recognized by the UN.
Argentina has denounced the March 10 and 11 referendum as illegal. The South American country calls Britain's stance on the islands as "colonial aggression". The Argentine government demands UN intervention, especially as oil exploration in the region begins to pay dividends, according to GlobalPost.
There was a high turnout of votes on the first day of the referendum. Voters attended polling stations in
Map of the North and South Atlantic Ocean showing location of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands and dist...
Map of the North and South Atlantic Ocean showing location of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands and distances to bases during the 1982 Falkland War.
Department of History, United States Military Academy
Port Staley between 10.00 and 18.00 hours, local time; the same schedule will apply today Monday 11.
Among the voters are British people and island residents originally from Chile, Argentina, and the Philippines, among others.
Voters are responding with "yes" or "no" to the question: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”
Ahead of the vote, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that Britain "will protect" the inhabitants of the Falklands of "intimidation and threats" from Argentina, which claims sovereignty of the southern island.
Dick Sawle, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the islands and one of the main promoters of the referendum, told the BBC he hoped the result “would reaffirm the principle of self-determination and send a message to both the international community and to Argentines.”
The referendum, which could further strain relations between the UK and Argentina in the 31st anniversary of the Falklands War (1982), will have international observers from Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, United States and New Zealand.
More about Falkland Islands, Islas Malvinas, Great Brit, Argentina, Referendum
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