Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Initial results have shown that 93 of Iraqi Kurds support Kurdistan independence from Iraq, the electoral commission supervising the independence referendum said Tuesday.
RIA Novosti quoted the independent commission saying that, while vote counting was still running, initial results show that 93 percent of voters support independence, compared to 6.71 percent objecting. Those are the results achieved after counting 282.000 ballots, according to the commission.
A representative of the commission said, however, that results can still change as the counting continues, with results slated for announcement on Thursday.
It said nearly 3.3 million voters, out of 5.2 eligibles, took part in the polls, putting turnout at an estimated 72.16 percent.
Kurds headed to polling stations on Monday to attend the polls rejected by the Arab-led central government in Baghdad, the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and regional powers Turkey and Iran.
Kurdistan gained actual autonomous governance based on the 2005 constitution, but is still considered a part of Iraq. The region was created in 1970 based on an agreement with the Iraqi government, ending years of conflicts.
Baghdad and Erbil have for long disputed sovereignty over a number of regions, most notably the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, besides contending over petroleum exports’ revenues from those regions.
Baghdad has repeatedly vowed to take legal action if Erbil proceeded with the vote. A few hours earlier, the Iraqi parliament ordered Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to deploy government forces at Kurdish-held areas where sovereignty is disputed with Erbil.