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98 percent of the people of South Kurdistan vote for independence
London, 8 February 2005
Kurdistan Referendum Movement - International Committee
London, 8 February 2005
During the general elections in Kurdistan on 30 January 2005, Kurdistan Referendum Movement conducted an unofficial referendum asking Kurdistani voters to choose one of these two options:
- I want Kurdistan to stay as part of Iraq
- I want Kurdistan to be independent
The Higher Committee of Referendum Movement in Kurdistan announced the results of the referendum in a press conference at Sheraton Hotel in Hewler, on Saturday 5 February 2005.
The total number of Kurdistani voters participating in the referendum was 1,998,061 people.
- 1,973412 people voted for independence.
- 19650 voted for Kurdistan to remain as part of Iraq.
Thus 98.8% of the people of Kurdistan have voted for independence.
The committee stated that the referendum was held in all Kurdish areas including Kirkuk, Khanaqin and Kurdish areas in Mosul province. But it excluded the Kurds living in Baghdad and other Arab cities and towns.
The Kurdish poet Sherco Bekas, member of the High Commission of Kurdistan Referendum Movement, stated that the Movement would take the results to the United Nation and the European Union.
A petition carrying the signatures of over 1,700,000 signatures asking for a UN-sponsored referendum on independence was delivered to the UN by the movement on 22 December 2004.
The results of all the votes in Kurdistan areas are as follows:
Province/area: Total votes / Votes for staying in Iraq / Votes for independence
Kirkuk: 131582 / 181 / 131274
Mosul: 165891 / 111 / 165780
Khanaqin: 36413 627 / 35786
Sulaymani: 656496 / 5796 / 650000
Hewler (Arbil): 636898 / 11289 / 622409
Duhok: 370781 / 2247 / 368163
Total: 1998061 / 20251 1973412
Percentage: 100% / 1.2% / 98.8%
Kurdistan Referendum Movement-International Committee
For further information and queries email:info [at] kurdistanreferendum.org
Voting for Independence: people of Kurdistan make their choice!
By: Dr Kamal Mirawdeli
Feb 8, 2005
The results of the unofficial referendum organised by Kurdistan Referendum Movement in Kurdistan shows that 1998061 people participated in the referendum. Of these the total of 1973412 people voted for independence and 20251 voted for staying inside Iraq. So with the majority of 98.8% our people voted for freedom and independence. The choice of independence was a constant pattern in every part of Kurdistan including Khanaqin and Kirkuk. In Kirkuk province 131582 people participated in the referendum, 131274 people voted for independence and only 181 people voted for staying inside Iraq. In Mosul province from 165891 people only 111 people voted for staying in Iraq. In Khanaqin it was 36413 to 627; in Sulaymani province the ratio was 650000 to 5796, in Hewler (Arbil) it was 622409 to 11289, in Duhok it was 368163 to 2247.
These results should not be surprising to anyone with common sense: A nation subjected to 80 years of oppression, enslavement and genocide, a nation with 200,000 of their sons and daughters lying in mass graves, and their identity, freedom and human rights denied by racists and colonialists, it is only natural and human for them to choose liberation versus occupation, freedom versus slavery, self-determination versus despotism.
But perhaps these results will be surprising to policy makers in Washington and London and to the Kurdish leaders who to make themselves saleable to them and get more privileges and power in Baghdad, have been trying hard to offer themselves as champions of Iraqism, Iraqi integrity and sovereignty without ever feeling ashamed and thinking for a moment of the 200,000 innocent souls in mass graves. At the same time they have been trying hard, using all our people's illegitimately monopolised money and resources, to brainwash our people to accept that they are Iraqis and seduce them to return to the yoke of Arab fascism.
What the Referendum Movement did is a unique historical achievement that with one stroke outbids all what those traditional tribal leaderships have achieved over 40 years of so-called struggle for autonomy in the name of Kurdistan and our people.
Now our people have said their word, expressed their free will and the ball now is in the court of President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. To what extent Mr Bush and his messenger of liberation and democracy in the Middle East the Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, are serious and sincere in the promotion of liberation and democratic choice in the Middle East: this is the Kurdish test waiting for their response. Condoleezza was right to call for a Palestinian state if this is the choice made by the Palestinians despite the fact this will be the Arab's 23rd state. But what about the Kurdish state which has been a de facto reality for the last 13 years? What about the right of self-determination of 40 million people Kurds who are the real cause and force of liberation and democracy in the Middle East?
We do not ask the US to do anything that contradicts international law or alienates allies and friends. We just want the implementation of the universal principle of self-determination established by United Nations principles, conventions and practices. We want the messengers of freedom to understand that freedom has just one colour and it is a universal gift of God.
It is time that US and Britain took the demands of our people seriously and asked the Security Council to take practical steps to conduct a referendum in Kurdistan. Or it will be even better to chose a simpler route on the basis of the obvious de facto reality and recognise Kurdistan parliament and the recently elected local councils in other Kurdish areas as true interim representatives of Kurdistan and its people.