More than 92 percent of Kurdish voters have voted for independence from Baghdad’s central government, Kurdish election monitors said on Wednesday.
The Electoral Commission officials at a news conference in Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, said that 92.73 percent of the 3,305,925 people who casted their votes voted "Yes" in the Monday's poll.
Head of Iraqi Kurdish region’s election commission Hendrin Mohammed said, “The referendum passed with 92.73 percent support and a total turnout was more than 72 percent.
The referendum vote was held across the autonomous Kurdish region including Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and some disputed territories controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad, including Kirkuk.
Mohammed further said that the results would be considered final once they are certified by Kurdish region’s department of justice.
The results were announced shortly after the Iraqi parliament called on prime minister Haider al Abadi to send troops to Kuridsh-controlled city of Kirkuk to seize control of its oilfield.
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However, al Abadi called for the results of the Kurdish referendum on independence to be annulled as a condition for dialogue to resolve the escalating crisis.
Iraq government angered with the Kurdish independence referendum, al Abadi on Tuesday had warned the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to ‘surrender’ all land and air border crossings or face a shutdown of international flights.