In brief

Micronesia’s Chuuk postpones once again its independence referendum

The vote is now scheduled for 2022

Aerial view of Chuuk.
Aerial view of Chuuk. Author: NASA
Chuuk, one of the four states of Micronesia, has postponed again independence referendum to 2022. The Micronesian government did not agree with the vote, while the United States, which holds considerable influence in the Pacific country, had warned Chuuk of the consequences of any unilateral move.

Micronesia is a federal republic located on the western region of the Pacific. It has 110,000 inhabitants, out of which 50,000 live in Chuuk.

Chuuk Attorney General Sabino Asor has told Reuters that Chuuk is giving Micronesia another two years to “correct deficiencies” on the referendum.

This is the third time the Chuukese independence vote is postponed, after 2015 and 2019.

Chuukese authorities say the state is suffering a fiscal deficit compared to the rest of Micronesia, which justifies their decision to seek independence.

The Micronesian government claims it is illegal for one of its federal states to call a unilateral referendum.

In return for economic support, Micronesia allows the United States to use its territory for military purposes. The US seek to prevent an independent Chuuk from throwing itself into China’s arms, and have warned Chuukese officials that they would lose the economic benefits they now enjoy under the Washington-Micronesia agreement.