The government of Falklands/Malvinas Islands has announced the dates of the referendum in which islanders will be able to express their opinion on the political status of the islands. The referendum will take place on 11th and 12th March “giving everyone the maximum opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”
The question published on the official website of Falklands/ Malvinas Islands Government is:
“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. [...] 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”
To facilitate the process, the government released an explanatory booklet and is planning to invite credible international missions to observe the process “to clearly demonstrate that it has been held freely and fairly.”
The government of Falklands/Malvinas Islands expressed its intention to hold the referendum on 12th June 2012, which was rejected by Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. She asked the Decolonisation Committee of the United Nations: “Why not do a referendum in Iraq or Afghanistan?”, and demanded national sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
On 3rd January president Fernández wrote an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, asking the British government to respect the 1965 United Nations General Assembly resolution which calls for a diplomatic resolution to the issue. The British Foreign Office responded via Twitter: “The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so.”