More than 92 percent of Iraqi Kurds voted for independence in a referendum, according to the first official results announced on Wednesday, two days after the disputed plebiscite.
Electoral commission officials told a news conference in the regional capital Arbil that 92.73 percent of the 3,305,925 people who cast ballots voted “yes” in Monday’s referendum, which had a turnout of 72.61 percent.
Longtime Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani said the vote would not lead to an immediate declaration of independence and should instead open the door to negotiations.
But Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told lawmakers on Wednesday there was no question of using its results as the basis for talks.
“The referendum must be annulled and dialogue initiated in the framework of the constitution. We will never hold talks based on the results of the referendum,” Abadi said.
“We will impose Iraqi law in the entire region of Kurdistan under the constitution,” he said.