Sept. 25, 2017 Held


Republic of Iraq


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Iraqi Kurdistan: Referendum on Independent Kurdistan, September 25, 2017

At stake in this election:

  • The independence of Iraqi Kurdistan

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Fuad MASUM (since 24 July 2014)
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI (since 8 September 2014)
  • Assembly: Unicameral Council of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwwab al-Iraqiyy) with 328 seats, Kurdistan has its own Parliament with 111 seats

Electoral requirements:

  • A majority vote will be considered a vote for independence but independence is not automatic even if the majority votes in favor of it.

About the referendum:

  • Kurds in the Kurdistan region of Iraq will vote on the creation of an independent state. This same referendum was held in 2005, with 98.8% of votes in favor of independence. However, the referendum did not ultimately lead to independence. The new referendum also will not guarantee independence to the region as the creation of an independent Kurdistan must be negotiated with the Iraqi government, who is unlikely to grant independence.

Main provisions in the referendum:

  • Do you want the Kurdistan region and the Kurdistani areas outside the region's administration to become an independent state?
    • Ballot will be available in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkmen, and Syriac

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 6,000,000 in Iraqi Kurdistan (2016 est.)
  • Registered Voters: 3,500,000 (2017 est.)