The Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) said on Tuesday that it will announce the result of independence referendum held in the region within 72 hours.
The IHERC added the turnout for the referendum was 72.16 percent (3,305,925 people). The Kurdistan Region held the independence referendum on Monday in the areas of noorthern Iraq controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
According to reports, 282.000 ballots were counted already and 93 percent of the voters supported independence.
Earlier, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said that the “Yes” vote will not mean an immediate declaration of the Kurdistan Region’s independence. Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani argued that it will start negitiations with the Iraqi Federal Government over the issue.
However, late on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially announced in a televised address that Iraq rejects proposed negotiations with the KRG after the announcement of results of the referendum.
“Our forces are fighting on the ground and have never diverted to secondary issues like the referendum,” Abadi said adding “despite those sacrifices, some want to thrust the region in sedition”.
The prime minister added that the government is “not going to impose a status quo, and will rather resort to the constitution”.
Earlier at the same day, the Iraqi Parliament voted for deployment of troops to the areas contested between the fedral government and the KRG.
On Tuesday, Turkey and Iraq started joint military drills in Turkey’s Silopi region, on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan.