Iraqi parliament votes yes on dismissal of Kirkuk governor

Kirkuk Governor Najmiddin Karim
Kirkuk Governor Najmiddin Karim

Baghdad ( The Iraqi parliament voted yes on dismissal of Kirkuk governor, in response to a request from Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

The decision came after the province decided to take part in Kurdistan’s independence referendum, slated for September 25th.

However, the Kurdish parliamentary bloc rejected the decision, considering it as one made by an Arab not federal parliament.

“I will stay in office,” Najmaddin Karim, the governor, told Reuters. “The referendum will go on as planned.”

“The prime minister does not have the power to ask parliament to remove me,” he said.

Karim, has been a strong supporter of the referendum. In August, an administrative court in Kirkuk ordered lowering the Kurdish flag, reversing a controversial decision made by Karim late March to raise it alongside the Iraqi one above government buildings.

Baghdad regularly argued the referendum, saying it was untimely as the country struggles to drive out Islamic State militants who first emerged in 2014 to proclaim its self-styled caliphate covering parts of Iraq and Syria.

In June, Abadi said in a statement “The federal government will not partake, support or fund the referendum on the Kurdish region’s independence from Iraq,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said in a statement last in June.

Kirkuk is one area where Kurdistan region disputes sovereignty with Iraq.

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