14 Jun 2012

Referendum to be held on Falklands

5:41 am on 14 June 2012

The Falkland Islands government is to hold a referendum on the islands' political status in a bid to end the dispute with Argentina over sovereignty.

Britain and Argentina went to war over the islands in 1982.

The vote is expected to take place in the first half of 2013.

"I have no doubt that the people of the Falklands wish for the islands to remain a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom," said Falklands Legislative Assembly chairman Gavin Short on Tuesday.

"So we have decided, with the full support of the British Government, to hold a referendum on the Falkland Islands to eliminate any possible doubt about our wishes," he added.

"Only the Falkland Islands people can determine how they wish to be governed."

President Cristina Fernandez is re-asserting Argentina's claims to the islands, known in Spanish as Las Malvinas.