Independence Referendum
Get Independence Referendum essential facts below. View Videos or join the Independence Referendum discussion. Add Independence Referendum to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Independence Referendum

An independence referendum is a type of referendum in which the citizens of a territory decide whether the territory should become an independent sovereign state. An independence referendum that results in a vote for independence does not always ultimately result in independence.

Procedure

An independence referendum typically arises first after political success for nationalists of a territory. This could come in the election of politicians or parties with separatist policies, or from pressure from nationalist organisations.

Negotiations

Negotiations for the terms of an independence referendum may take place between the nationalists and the government which exercises sovereignty over the territory. If terms can be agreed, then the independence referendum can be held with its result binding, and respected by the international community. Independence referendums can be held without the consent of a national or the federal governments, then the international community will rely on several other factors, e.g. were the local people oppressed by the central government or not, to decide if the result can be recognized or not.

Various issues can be discussed in negotiations, such as the date and timing of the poll, as well as voter eligibility. For these instances, common electoral practice is often widely used, although there can be deviations, as seen with the lowering of the voting age for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Other issues to be negotiated include what question or questions should be on the ballot, and what the voting options could be. Independence referendums can offer options of greater autonomy as well as, or instead of, the status quo. They can also put forward other constitutional questions to ballot. The questions that referendums ask may be revised if parties involved in negotiations consider them to be too leading.

Negotiations notably need to address what would make a result binding. For some independence referendums, a simple majority is required for one option. In other cases, a quota can be used, where a certain percentage of the vote or the electorate needs to be in favour of an option for it to be binding.

Donbass status referendum in 2014 was rejected as illegal by the Ukrainian government or by any UN-member states

Successful negotiations can be hard to achieve for nationalists, as governments can be reluctant to give up sovereignty. For example, nationalists planned to hold a referendum in Catalonia in 2014, but met opposition from the Spanish government. As a result, the referendum that went ahead was unofficial and non-binding.

Aftermath

In the event of a vote for independence, there may be negotiations on the terms of secession for the territory from the sovereign state. A declaration of independence for a new state is then made, and international recognition can follow, as well as membership of international organisations such as the United Nations. In cases involving non-binding referendums, this can lead to a unilateral declaration of independence, and therefore partially recognised or self-proclaimed states, like the Donbass status referendums.

In the event of a vote against independence, there may still be a strong nationalist movement and calls for there to be a rerun of the independence referendum. For example, after two referendums in Quebec, the Parti Québécois has continued to raise the prospect of holding another referendum,[1] and the Scottish National Party has said that there should be a repeat of the 2014 referendum if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Past independence referendums

Proposed State Year Former State Majority for Independence Independence Recognition Notes
 Chile 1817 Captaincy General of Chile (part of the Spanish Empire) Yes Yes No Chile would declare independence in 1818 and would secure independence following the Chilean War of Independence.
 Liberia 1846 American Colonization Society Yes Yes Yes
Maryland 1853 Maryland State Colonization Society Yes Yes Yes
 Norway 1905 Yes Yes Yes The referendum was on whether voters approved the ratified dissolution of the union between the two constitutional states.
Iceland 1918  Denmark Yes Yes Yes
Western Australia 1933  Australia Yes No No
 Cambodia 1945 France Yes Yes Yes
 Mongolia 1945  China Yes Yes Yes
 Faroe Islands 1946  Denmark Yes No No The Declaration of Independence was annulled by Denmark
 Saar 1955  France No No Yes Territory later transferred to West Germany
Cameroon 1958 No No Yes Referendum on the new French constitution. A no vote would have led to independence.
 Central African Republic 1958 No No Yes
 Chad 1958 No No Yes
Comoros 1958 No No Yes
 Republic of the Congo 1958 No No Yes
 Dahomey 1958 No No Yes
Djibouti 1958 No No Yes
French Polynesia 1958 No No Yes
Gabon 1958 No No Yes
 Guinea 1958 Yes Yes Yes
 Ivory Coast 1958 No No Yes
 Madagascar 1958 No No Yes
Mali 1958 No No Yes
Mauritania 1958 No No Yes
New Caledonia 1958 No No Yes
 Niger 1958 No No Yes
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 1958 No No Yes
Senegal 1958 No No Yes
 Upper Volta 1958 No No Yes
 Samoa 1961  New Zealand Yes Yes Yes
 Algeria 1962  France Yes Yes Yes
 Malta 1964  United Kingdom Yes Yes Yes
 Rhodesia 1964 Yes De facto No The majority black population could not vote in the referendum; consequently the result was rejected by the United Kingdom and internationally. This prompted the contested Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
Djibouti 1967  France No No Yes
 Puerto Rico 1967  United States No No Yes
 West Papua 1969  Indonesia No No Yes The question asked was whether West Papua wanted to give up its sovereignty to Indonesia. All 1,025 voters unanimously voted "yes" by show of hands.
Northern Mariana Islands 1969  United States No No Yes A majority voted for integration with Guam
 Bahrain 1970  United Kingdom Yes Yes Yes The question was whether Bahrainis preferred annexation by Iran or independence.
 Niue 1974  New Zealand Majority for associated status Associated status achieved Yes The referendum was on whether Niue should become an associated state of New Zealand. This status is sometimes considered to be independence.
Comoros 1974  France Yes Yes Yes The country declared independence on 6 July 1975, with Mayotte remaining under French control.
1975  United States No No Yes Only voters in what would become the Federated States of Micronesia voted for independence.
 Guam 1976 No No Yes A majority voted for an improved status quo
 Aruba 1977  Netherlands Yes No Yes Plans for full independence were scrapped in 1994
 Djibouti 1977  France Yes Yes Yes
 Nevis 1977  Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla Yes No No Referendum organised by the Nevis Reformation Party but not recognised by the Saint Kitts and Nevis government.
 Quebec 1980  Canada No No Yes
 Ciskei 1980  South Africa Yes De facto Recognized by South Africa Like other Bantustans, its independence was not internationally recognised.
 Guam 1982  United States No No Yes
 Federated States of Micronesia 1983 Yes Yes Yes Micronesia became an associated state of the United States
 Marshall Islands 1983 No No Yes
 Palau 1983 No No Yes Voters approved the Compact of Free Association with the United States
1984 No No Yes
 Cocos (Keeling) Islands 1984  Australia No No Yes
Falkland Islands 1986  United Kingdom No No Yes
New Caledonia 1987  France No No Yes
Slovenia 1990  Yugoslavia Yes Yes Yes
 Armenia 1991  Soviet Union Yes Yes Yes
 Azerbaijan 1991 Yes Yes Yes
 Croatia 1991  Yugoslavia Yes Yes Yes
 Estonia 1991  Soviet Union Yes Yes Yes
 Georgia 1991 Yes Yes Yes
Kosovo 1991  Yugoslavia Yes No Recognized by Albania
 Latvia 1991  Soviet Union Yes Yes Yes
 Lithuania 1991 Yes Yes Yes
 Macedonia 1991  Yugoslavia Yes Yes Yes Independence was achieved in 1991.
 Nagorno-Karabakh 1991  Soviet Union Yes De facto No Led to de facto independence
 Ukraine 1991 Yes Yes Yes
 Transnistria 1991 Yes De facto No Led to de facto independence
Gagauz Republic 1991 Yes De facto[2] No Led to de facto independence. Gagauzia reintegrated Moldova in December 1994.
Turkmenistan 1991 Yes Yes Yes
 Uzbekistan 1991 Yes Yes Yes
1992  Yugoslavia Yes Yes Yes
 Montenegro 1992 No No Yes
 South Ossetia 1992  Georgia Yes De facto No Led to de facto independence
 Tatarstan 1992  Russia Yes Yes No Tatarstan reintegrated with Russia de facto in 1994, de jure in 2002
 Eritrea 1993  Ethiopia Yes Yes Yes
 United States Virgin Islands 1993  United States No No Yes
 Puerto Rico 1993 No No Yes
 Curaçao 1993  Netherlands No No Yes A majority voted for restructuring the Netherlands Antilles
 Bonaire 1994 No No Yes A majority voted for keeping the status quo.
 Sint Maarten 1994 No No Yes
 Saba 1994 No No Yes
 Sint Eustatius 1994 No No Yes
 Bermuda 1995  United Kingdom No No Yes
 Quebec 1995  Canada No No Yes "No" won by 1.16%.
Seborga 1995  Italy Yes No No Residents voted 304 to 4 for independence.[3] Regarded by most to be a micronation rather than a de facto state.
Anjouan 1997  Comoros Yes De facto No Anjouan remained de facto independent until 2001
 Nevis 1998 Yes No Yes 62% of voters approved of independence, but a 2/3 majority was required.
 Puerto Rico 1998  United States No No Yes
 East Timor 1999  Indonesia Yes Yes Yes The referendum was organised by the United Nations; independence was achieved in 2002
 Sint Maarten 2000  Netherlands No No Yes A majority voted for becoming a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
 Bonaire 2004 No No Yes A majority voted for integration with the Netherlands
 Saba 2004 No No Yes A majority voted for direct constitutional ties with the Netherlands
 Kurdistan 2005  Iraq Yes No No
 Curaçao 2005  Netherlands No No Yes A majority voted to become an Autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Sint Eustatius 2005 No No Yes A majority voted for remaining part of the Netherlands Antilles
 Montenegro 2006  Serbia and Montenegro Yes Yes Yes
 South Ossetia 2006  Georgia Yes De facto No The issue was whether South Ossetia should retain its de facto independent status
 Transnistria 2006  Moldova Yes De facto No The issue was whether Transnistria should retain its de facto independent status
 Tokelau 2006  New Zealand Majority for associated status
but Quorum not reached
Associated status not achieved Yes The referendum was on whether Tokelau should become an associated state of New Zealand. This status is sometimes considered to be independence. 60% of voters approved, but a 2/3 majority was required.
2007 Majority for associated status
but Quorum not reached
Associated status not achieved Yes
 South Sudan 2011  Sudan Yes[4] Yes Yes Independence was achieved on 9 July 2011.
 Puerto Rico 2012  United States No No Yes
Donetsk 2014  Ukraine Yes[5] Declared[6] No The issue was whether the Donetsk People's Republic should retain its de facto independent status. Only controls a portion of its claimed territory.
Lugansk 2014 Yes[5] Declared[6] No The issue was whether the Luhnsk People's Republic should retain its de facto independent status. Only controls a portion of its claimed territory.
 Veneto 2014  Italy Yes No No The referendum was conducted online and through self-organized voting booths by a private organization, Plebiscite 2013, without voter verification, and without the cooperation of the Italian national or Venetian regional governments. 89% of residents voted to split from Italy.[7] An official referendum on Venetian autonomy took place on 22 October 2017, with 98% voting in favor of special autonomy for Veneto.
 Scotland 2014  United Kingdom No No Yes
Catalonia 2014  Spain Yes No No
 Sint Eustatius 2014  Netherlands No No Yes A majority voted for autonomy within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but low turnout invalidated the result.
Bandeira do movimento O Sul É o Meu País.svg South Brazil 2016  Brazil Yes No No Described as a "Plebisul", the turnout was only 2.91%.
 Puerto Rico 2017  United States No No Yes If a majority of voters selected the "Independence/Free Association" option, another independence referendum between those two options would've been held. However, a majority of voters voted for U.S. statehood.
 Kurdistan 2017  Iraq Yes No[8] No The referendum also took place in the disputed territories of Northern Iraq.
Catalonia 2017  Spain Yes No[9] No The Parliament of Catalonia unilaterally declared the formation of a Catalan Republic on 27 October 2017. The declaration was not recognized by the Government of Spain which continued to regard Catalonia as part of its sovereign territory and asserted direct control at the beginning of the workday on 30 October. On 31 October 2017 the Constitutional Court of Spain formally revoked the declaration with retroactive effect.[10]
Bandeira do movimento O Sul É o Meu País.svg South Brazil 2017  Brazil Yes No No Second edition of the referendum described as a "Plebisul", the turnout was only 1.72%.
 New Caledonia 2018  France No No Yes
 Bougainville 2019 Yes Subject to negotiation[11] Yes Held between 23 November to 7 December 2019.[12][13] The vote was not binding and the Government of Papua New Guinea has the final say on what becomes of Bougainville.[14]
 New Caledonia 2020  France No No[15] Yes

Scheduled independence referendums

Proposed State Date Current state Recognition Notes
 Chuuk March 2022[16]  Micronesia Yes Was scheduled for March 2020, but the Chuuk State Attorney announced that the vote had been postponed.[16]

See also

Further reading

References

  1. ^ "Neverendum referendum: Voting on independence, Quebec-style". BBC News Online. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Marcin Kosienkowski (2017) The Gagauz Republic: An Autonomism-Driven De Facto State The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, volume 44, no. 3, pp292-313
  3. ^ Roth, Christopher F. (March 2015). Let's Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar (PDF). Litwin Books, LLC. p. 90. In 1995, Giorgio held a referendum, with Seborgans opting for independence 304-4.
  4. ^ South Sudan backs independence - results
  5. ^ a b "In eastern Ukraine, polls close amid allegations of double-voting - CNN.com". CNN. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Russia Praises Ukraine's Autonomy Law for Rebel Areas". WSJ. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/19/venice-italy-seccession/7563295/
  8. ^ "Iraqi Kurds offer to 'freeze' independence referendum result". BBC. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Catalonia independence: Spain takes charge of Catalan government BBC News, 28 October 2017
  10. ^ Suspendida la declaración de independencia de Cataluña (in Spanish)
  11. ^ Lyons, Kate (2019-12-10). "Bougainville referendum: region votes overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea". The Guardian. Retrieved . The referendum is nonbinding and the leadership of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville will negotiate, while the PNG parliament will have the final say.
  12. ^ Mair, John (2019-08-05). "Bougainville agrees with PNG to delay independence vote till November". Reuters. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Bougainville referendum now set to be held on 23 November". Radio New Zealand. 2019-08-05. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Bougainville referendum not binding - PM". Radio New Zealand. 2019-03-11. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Sartre, Julien; Doherty, Ben (4 October 2020). "New Caledonia rejects independence from France for second time". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Chuuk independence vote postponed as China-U.S. Pacific contest builds". Reuters. 27 February 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Independence_referendum
 



 



 
Music Scenes