Falkland Islanders are taking part in a controversial referendum, to decide whether or not the residents want to remain under Britain’s control, as Argentina dismisses the ballot as illegal.
During two days, Sunday and Monday, the polling stations will be open for 1,672 eligible voters to cast their ballot.
The vote is a yes or no question: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”
The Argentinean foreign ministry has said that the referendum is “a British attempt to manipulate” the status of the archipelago.
The “attempt will not alter the essence of the Falklands or put an end to the sovereignty dispute”, it insisted.
Furthermore, Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has said the referendum is “illegal” since the residents are “implanted”, and therefore have no right to self-determination.
Tensions escalated between London and Buenos Aires in 2012 as both countries marked the 30th anniversary of the end of the UK and Argentina war over the islands.
The two countries fought a 74-day-long war in 1982 over the islands, which ended with the British side claiming victory over the Argentineans.
Located about 300 miles off Argentina’s coast and home to about 3,000 inhabitants, the islands have been declared part of the British Overseas Territories since Britain established its colonial rule on the territories in 1833.
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