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Politicians, celebrities spice up Scotland's historic referendum

EDINBURGH, Sept. 18 – Scottish politicians and celebrities attended Thursday the historic referendum on the country's independence.

The ‘900-minute’ vote aims deciding Scotland's fate.

Polling stations will be open during those 15 hours.

Hundreds of celebrities already participated in the referendum and called on Scots to say either "yes" or "no" to independence.

Actor Sean Connery, soccer player David Beckham, musicians Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Bjork, broadcaster David Attenborough, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and author J.K. Rowling supported one of the campaigns.

More than 2,600 polling places opened Thursday from 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) until 10 p.m. (2100 GMT).

The poll results are expected to be announced on Friday morning.

According to official estimates, a total of 4.3 million voters in a nation of 5.3 million people registered for the referendum.

If majority of voters say "yes" to divorce from the UK, independence will be proclaimed March 24, 2016 and parliamentary elections will be held in May of the same year.

The referendum on Scottish independence is not a unique event in the world.

Over the past 30 years, similar votes on major nationwide issues were held in Canada’s Quebec, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Indonesia’s East Timor, Moldova’s Transnistria and the Republic of South Sudan.

By the end of the year, Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia and the Iraqi Kurdistan in northern Iraq will also hold respective referendum.

In most cases, however, the international community has been reluctant to acknowledge results of the polls. (PNA/Itar-Tass)


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