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Kurds Win Majority In Iraq's Disputed Kirkuk Province
KIRKUK, (Southern Kurdistan), Feb 13 (AFP) Kurds in Kirkuk on Sunday celebrated absolute victory in local council elections in Tamin province -- home to the disputed Iraqi oil city -- flying Kurdistani flags and shooting into the air.
The Kirkuk Brotherhood list of the two main Kurdish parties -- the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party -- won 58.4 percent of votes, or 237,303 out of 405,951 ballots cast, the electoral commission said.
The Kurds want Kirkuk to be added to the three autonomous provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan. Thousands of Kurds displaced from the city by the former regime were allowed to return to vote on January 30.
Kurds celebrated the results in style, driving through northern Kirkuk with Kurdistani flags flying, shooting in the air and blaring their horns.
The Turkmen minority represented by the Turkmen Front came in second place with 16 percent of the vote, or 73,791 ballots.
Several Arab and Turkmen organisations denounced alleged irregularities in the historic January 30 vote even before final results were announced.
Sunni Arab and Shiite parties withdrew from the vote in Tamim to protest against displaced Kurds being allowed to return to vote.