ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - On Monday at 08:00 am local time, the referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region begins as polling stations open all over the region, including in the disputed territories.
Over five million people are eligible to vote according to the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC).
Hundreds of foreign observers are in the region to monitor the voting process, including a delegation of UK Members of Parliament who arrived on Saturday and who will ensure transparency of the voting process.
The polling stations are open from 08:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening, with the possibility of an extension if required.
The Kurdish leadership has repeatedly stated that the referendum is a means to achieve the greater goal of independence.
According to the President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, should the 'Yes' vote win the majority, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will engage in a serious and constructive dialogue with Baghdad regarding their bilateral relations in the future as two independent neighbors.
An independent Kurdistan has been a long-awaited dream for over 40 million stateless Kurds all across the globe. The Kurds have been labeled as the largest stateless nation in the world.
Editing by G.H. Renaud