Former and current European politicians, who observed the Kurdish Independence referendum, reported that the vote free and open, at a press conference in Erbil, on Tuesday. According to the Franz Obermayr, an Austrian Member of the European Parliament, «people were free, they could vote peacefully and they could vote that what they wished,» underlying «it was a free and open referendum». Former... Еще Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs for Croatia Vesna Pusic stated, «It was orderly, there was enough polling places for people not to have to wait too long» reporting that, «72 percent of people who were eligible to vote, voted in this referendum.» She added, «We respect your vote and your desire to express the way you want to live.» Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stated he understood the opposition shown by surrounding countries, but not from the US, France or United Kingdom. 140 foreign officials were invited to monitor the referendum, which took place on 25 September. It drew strong criticism and opposition by Baghdad, Iran and Turkey, who threatened to impose sanctions on Kurds in northern Iraq.