Falkland Islands defy Argentine sovereignty push with vote

March 8, 2013 15:43


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BUENOS AIRES - Voters in the remote British-ruled Falkland Islands hold a referendum on their future on Sunday that seeks to challenge Argentina's increasingly vocal sovereignty claim.

Thirty-one years since Britain and Argentina went to war over the windswept archipelago in the South Atlantic, tensions between London and Buenos Aires are running high. That has unsettled some of the roughly 2,500 islanders and strengthened patriotic feeling.

Just 1,649 Falklands-born and long-term residents are registered to vote in the two-day referendum starting on Sunday in which they will be asked whether they want to remain a British overseas territory.

A near-unanimous "yes" vote is likely, prompting Argentina to dismiss the referendum as a publicity stunt. British bookmaker Ladbrokes described the result as "the biggest certainty in political betting history" and said no one had placed a bet on a "no" vote.

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