Residents of the Falkland Islands voted almost unanimously to stay under British rule in a referendum aimed at winning global sympathy as Argentina intensifies its sovereignty claim, results showed on Monday.
The official count showed that nearly all of the islanders voted in favour of remaining a British Overseas Territory in the two-day referendum, which was rejected by Argentina as a meaningless publicity stunt. Only three "no" votes were cast.
Pro-British feelings surged and turnout was high among the 1,649 Falklands-born and long-term residents registered to vote.
"The total number of votes publicly cast in the referendum was 1,517. The percentage of turnout for the referendum was 92 percent. The number of 'yes' votes cast was 1,513, which represents 98.8 percent," said Keith Padgett, chief referendum officer.
The mood was festive as islanders lined up in the cold to vote in the low-key island capital of Stanley during voting, some wearing novelty outfits made from the red, white and blue Union Jack flag.
Most Argentines, however, think the islands rightfully belong to the South American country and they remain a potent national symbol that unites political foes.
Presented by Adam Justice