The Falkland Islands elected government has confirmed the dates and final wording of the referendum on the political status of the Islands, based on their right to self determination and to counter Argentina’s repeated calls for negotiations over sovereignty.
“The result will demonstrate in a clear, democratic and incontestable way how the people of the Falkland Islands wish to live their lives”, says the release which anticipates the presence of “a credible, international and independent observer mission to observe the referendum in order to clearly demonstrate that it has been held freely and fairly”.
Following a two-week public consultation, and having taken outside expert advice on the specific wording to be asked in the Referendum, the Falklands’ Executive Council have approved the final wording of the question, which, along with an explanatory preamble, reads as follows:
“The current political status of the Falkland Islands is that they are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. The Islands are internally self-governing, with the United Kingdom being responsible for matters including defence and foreign affairs. Under the Falkland Islands Constitution the people of the Falkland Islands have the right to self-determination, which they can exercise at any time. Given that Argentina is calling for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, this referendum is being undertaken to consult the people regarding their views on the political status of the Falkland Islands. Should the majority of votes cast be against the current status, the Falkland Islands Government will undertake necessary consultation and preparatory work in order to conduct a further referendum on alternative options.
Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?
YES or NO”
The Executive Council has also agreed that the Referendum would be held over two days, 10-11 March, giving everyone the maximum opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
The result will demonstrate in a clear, democratic and incontestable way how the people of the Falkland Islands wish to live their lives. To that end, the Falkland Islands Government has consulted widely to identify a credible, international and independent observer mission to observe the referendum in order to clearly demonstrate that it has been held freely and fairly.