| Election officials prepare before counting votes of the 2013 Referendum on the political status of the Malvinas/Falklands Islands at the local Legislature in Puerto Argentino, on March 11, 2013. (Xinhua/Martin Zabala)
STANLEY, Falkland Islands, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The referendum on whether the Falkland Islands, known as Malvinas by Argentina, would retain their political status as "British Overseas Territory" finished this Monday at 6 pm, as verified by Xinhua, and the vote counting process has started, with an estimated finishing time around 9 pm, when the results will be announced.
The electoral process is being conducted in the office of the local executive authority, in the city hall, with the presence of officials, residents, international observers and foreign media.
Malvinas is disputed by Britain and Argentina, and the latter has announced the referendum as illegal and invalid.
The result of the referendum, conducted by Britain, and is expected to be announced Monday night between 21:30 and 22:30 local time (0030 and 0130 GMT Tuesday ).