Kurdish town gassed by Saddam votes 94 percent yes in favour of independence

Kurdish town gassed by Saddam votes 94 percent yes in favour of independence
The New Arab has seen an early copy of voting records for a number of Kurdish voting centres - all polling above 70% for yes.
2 min read
27 September, 2017
A woman votes in the Kurdish referendum on Monday [Getty]

The people of Kurdistan voted overwhelmingly for independence in Monday's non-binding referendum, leaked statistics have revealed ahead of official results.

An official within the Referendum Commission told The New Arab that the final percentage of ballots who voted yes exceeded 90 percent. The results will be announced after ratification by a judicial committee.

Iraqi government spokesman, Saad al-Hadithi, said Baghdad would not recognise the referendum or its results.

"Iraq does not accept any dialogue or negotiations over its unity or territorial integrity," Hadithi said.

One of the areas that voted highest for independence from Baghdad was Halabja, the centre of a 1988 chemical weapons attack blamed widely on the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Around 5000 people died in the attack, mostly civilians, in an incident the Iraqi Supreme Court later classed an act of genocide.

Since declaring the referendum in June for the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Kurds have faced mounting international pressure to call off the vote.

Kurds have sought an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East after the collapse of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire.

Percentages who voted yes, broken down by cities:

  • Halabja 94%
  • Bardarash 98%
  • Aqrah 97%
  • Kalar 87%
  • Saidsadiq 81%
  • Zakho 99%
  • Beshdar 70%
  • Chamchamal 84%
  • Makhmur 96%