Falkland Islanders voting on status
STANLEY, Falkland Islands (AP) -- Britain is hoping this weekend's referendum on the political status of the Falkland Islands will push the United States and other neutral governments off the fence in its territorial dispute with Argentina over the remote South Atlantic archipelago.
The local Falkland Islands Government has mobilized a major effort to get as many of its 1,650 registered voters as possible to cast their secret ballots today and Monday, preparing to send off-road vehicles, boats and seaplanes to remote sheep farms across the lightly populated islands.
Elections observers from Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and New Zealand also will be watching as islanders answer a simple yes-or-no question: "Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?"
Islanders expect the answer to be overwhelmingly in favor of British governance and protection. Britain wants the U.S. in particular to recognize the islanders' rights.