Its biggest ceety an prefectur is Mamoudzou. The territory is geographically pairt o the Comoro Islands but haes been poleetically separate syne a 1974 referendum in which it electit tae remain unner French rule. The territory is kent as Mahoré an aw, the native name o its main island, especially bi advocates o its inclusion in the Union of Comoros. In a 2009 referendum, the population owerwhelmingly appruivit accession tae status o depairtment (95.2% votit in favour o depairtmental status). Mayotte became an owerseas depairtment on 31 Mairch 2011 an will become an Ootermaist region o the European Union on 1 Januar 2014.