Officials say 92% voted in favor of Kurdish independence
IRBIL, IRAQ » The Kurdish referendum on independence from Iraq was approved by more than 92 percent of voters, officials said Wednesday, as Iraq’s prime minister vowed to keep his country united without resorting to the use of force.
Even with the strong support, the nonbinding vote is unlikely to lead to formal independence, but it has escalated long-running tensions with Baghdad, which has moved to block flights in and out of the Kurds’ autonomous region. Iraq and its neighbors, along with virtually the entire international community, are opposed to any redrawing of the map.
Hendrin Mohammed, head of the Kurdish region’s election commission, announced the official results, saying the referendum passed with 92.73percent support and turnout of more than 72 percent.
The vote was held in the Kurdish region’s three provinces and in some disputed territories held by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad.