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An independence referendum is a type of referendum in which the citizens of a territory decide whether the territory should become an independent country. The independence referendum is considered successful if the citizens vote in favor of independence or unsuccessful if they do not. A successful independence referendum may or may not result in independence, depending on whether relevant political factors outside of the territory recognize the results.
- 1 Past successful independence referendums
- 2 Past unsuccessful independence referendums
- 3 Expected independence referendums
- 4 Plausible independence referendums
- 5 References
- 6 See also
Past successful independence referendums
- Algerian independence referendum led to the independence of Algeria in the same year.
- Maltese constitutional referendum – led to the independence of Malta
- Southern Rhodesian independence referendum – led to de facto independence of Rhodesia in 1965
- Micronesian Compact of Free Association referendum – led to the independence of the Federated States of Micronesia in 1986
- Armenian independence referendum – led to the independence of Armenia
- Azerbaijani independence referendum – led to the independence of Azerbaijan
- Croatian independence referendum – led to the independence of Croatia
- Estonian independence referendum – led to the independence of Estonia
- Georgian independence referendum – led to the independence of Georgia
- Latvian independence and democracy poll – led to the independence of Latvia
- Lithuanian independence referendum – led to the independence of Lithuania
- Macedonian independence referendum – led to the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in 1993
- Nagorno-Karabakh independence referendum – led to the de facto independence of Nagorno-Karabakh
- Ukraine independence referendum – led to the independence of Ukraine
- Transnistrian independence referendum – led to the de facto independence of Transnistria
- Turkmenistani independence referendum – led to the independence of Turkmenistan
- Uzbekistani independence election – led to the independence of Uzbekistan
- Bosnia and Herzegovina independence referendum – led to the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- South Ossetian independence referendum – led to the de facto independence of South Ossetia
- East Timor independence referendum – organised by the United Nations, led to the independence of East Timor in 2002
- Kurdistan independence referendum – consultative referendum; 98.8% support for independence
- Montenegrin independence referendum – a successful independence referendum that reestablished the independent country of Montenegro
- South Ossetian independence referendum – the issue was whether South Ossetia should retain its de facto independent status
- Transnistrian independence referendum – the issue was whether Transnistria should retain its de facto independent status
- Tamil Eelam independence referendums – held within Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora communities in Norway, France, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands; overwhelming support for Tamil Eelam's independence
Past unsuccessful independence referendums
- Western Australian secession referendum – a majority voted in favour of leaving the Commonwealth of Australia, but the result was ignored by the British Parliament
- Faroese independence referendum – although a majority voted in favour and the Islands declared independence, the declaration was annulled by Denmark
- 1967, 1993, 1998 and 2012 Puerto Rico political status plebiscites – unsuccessful
- 1969 West Papuan Act of Free Choice – unsuccessful, flawed
- 1973 Northern Ireland sovereignty referendum – unsuccessful, boycotted by separatists
- 1977 Aruban independence referendum had a majority in favour of independence, but plans for full independence were scrapped in 1994
- 1980 and 1995 Quebec independence referendums – unsuccessful
- 1987 New Caledonian independence referendum – unsuccessful
- 1991 Kosovan independence referendum – result unrecognised
- 1992 Montenegrin independence referendum – unsuccessful
- 1995 Bermudan independence referendum – unsuccessful
- 1998 Nevis independence referendum – unsuccessful
- 2008 Basque referendum – prevented by Spain, cancelled
Expected independence referendums
- Crimean independence referendum, to take place on 16 March 2014
- Scottish independence referendum, to take place on 18 September 2014
- Catalonian independence referendum, to take place on 9 November 2014
- New Caledonian independence referendum (envisioned by Nouméa Accord, 1998), to be held between 2014 and 2019
- Bougainville independence referendum (envisioned by Peace Agreement, 2000), to be held between 2015 and 2020
Plausible independence referendums
- Ambazonia – With the ruling by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights in 2009, Southern Cameroons is recognized as a distinct people "automatically entitled to all the other rights which are built into Article 20 (1-2) of the African Charter, which include the inalienable and unquestionable right to self-determination".
- Anguilla - The Prime Minister has expressed a desire for independence from Great Britain.
- Faroe Islands - An Independence referendum could be held after the current Unionist government holds elections sometime in 2015.
- Greenland – The Inuit Ataqatigiit-led separatist government has repeatedly expressed the need for full political independence from Denmark. With Greenland having gained more autonomy beginning with the home rule referendum in 1979 and the self-government referendum in 2008, some campaigners have touted the year 2021 (the 300th anniversary of Danish colonial rule) as a date for potential independence.
- Quebec – The sovereigntist Parti Québécois regained power in the 2012 Quebec election after more than nine years in the opposition. As a minority government, it will not hold a referendum during this term. The latest national poll showed that only 32% of Québécois would vote for independence. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced that a large campaign to promote sovereignty is slated to take place in the upcoming months.
- Veneto – Venetian Independence and Plebiscite 2013 have been proposing a referendum over independence of Veneto from Italy. After the Regional Council of Veneto approved a resolution on self-determination (with an explicit reference to a referendum) in November 2012, a referendum bill was proposed in April 2013. According to it, a referendum would take place in early 2014. See also Venetian nationalism#Recent developments.
- Western Sahara – An independence referendum, proposed by MINURSO, may take place sometime.
- "Celebrating the centenary in the UK". Norwegian Embassy in London. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- South Sudan backs independence – results
- : "Bougainville confirms independence referendum before 2020"
- McSmith, Andy (27 November 2008). "The Big Question: Is Greenland ready for independence, and what would it mean for its people?". The Independent.