September 25, 2017 / 4:59 PM / 10 months ago

Kurdistan supervisors begin counting votes in independence referendum

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Voting stations set up on Monday for the referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq closed their doors at 7:00 p.m (1600 GMT) and vote counting has started, the supervising body said.

Officials empty a ballot box after the close of the polling station during Kurds independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Voting began at 8:00 a.m, and the final results are expected to be announced within 72 hours.

Seventy-eight percent of the 5.2 million eligible voters turned out to vote, Erbil-based Rudaw TV said, citing the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission.

Voters were asked to tick either Yes or No on the ballot asking them just one question in Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic and Assyrian: “Do you want the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani areas outside the (Kurdistan) Region to become an independent country?”

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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