Over 92 pct vote in favor of independence of Iraq's Kurdish region: electoral commission

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/28 7:47:44

The electoral commission of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan announced Wednesday the final results showed 92.73 percent of voters support the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq.

The results showed that 2.86 million voters, out of a total of 3.31 million voters who participated in the referendum, voted "yes" to independence of the Kurdish region, the commission said.

Only 7.27 percent of the voters said "no" to the independence of the Kurdish region, according to the results.

The official results of the referendum have to be ratified by the supreme court, the commission added.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to cancel the results of the independence referendum before holding dialogue to resolve the crisis.

For its part, the Iraqi parliament reconfirmed its package of measures adopted on Sept. 25 against the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan over its controversial independence referendum held on Monday.

The parliament reiterated its authorization to Abadi as the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces to redeploy troops on all the disputed areas outside the Kurdish region, including Kirkuk.

The ethnic Kurds consider the northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk and parts of Nineveh, Diyala and Salahudin provinces as "disputed areas" and want them to be incorporated into their Kurdish region.

This has been fiercely opposed by the Arabs, Turkmens and by the central government in Baghdad.

The parliament also demanded the federal government regain control of Kirkuk oil fields and other oil fields in the disputed areas to be run by the federal Oil Ministry.

It voted to block all the border crossings which are outside the control of the federal authorities, and call on the neighboring countries (Turkey and Iran) to help the Iraqi government block the crossings.

It also voted in favor of a recommendation to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to ask other countries which have consulates in the Kurdish region to close their offices, it added.

The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by most other countries, because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

Iraq's neighboring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear the Iraqi Kurdish independence move would threaten their territorial integrity, as a large population of Kurds live in those countries.

The US has repeatedly warned the Kurds to postpone the referendum, saying such move could derail or confuse the war against IS.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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