Kurdish referendum: Unofficial results say more than 90% voted for independence

Photo: Reuters


Large numbers of people have taken part in a landmark vote on independence for Iraq’s Kurdistan region, amid growing opposition both at home and abroad, the BBC reports.

Votes are still being counted, with a big victory for “yes” expected.

Kurds say it will give them a mandate to negotiate secession, but Iraq’s PM denounced it as “unconstitutional”.

Neighbours Turkey and Iran, fearing separatist unrest in their own Kurdish minorities, threatened to close borders and impose sanctions on oil exports.

The referendum passed off peacefully across the three provinces that make up the region, and in areas controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad.

Turnout was estimated at about 72%, according to the electoral commission.

Partial unofficial results published by the Kurdish Rudaw website show that more than 90% have voted for independence.

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