Turkmen MPs collect signatures to dismiss Kirkuk governor, disband provincial council

Tens of Turkmens protest in Kirkuk against decision on raising Kurdish flag, alongside Iraqi flag above official facilities in the city.

Kirkuk ( Turkmen members of the Iraqi parliament have collected signatures from more than 200 MPs who represent several political factions on a petition to demand dismissal of Kirkuk governor Najmuddin Karim and the dissolution of its provincial council, according to MP Niazi Oghlo.

Oghlo said the move came after the council’s decision to raise the Kurdish flag above official buildings in the province and its plans to run a referendum on joining Kurdistan Region.

“Turkmen MPs collected more than 200 signatures from several political groups’ representatives to dismiss Kirkuk governor and disband its provincial council,” Oghlo stated on Wednesday. “The signatures will be attached to a request that will be submitted to parliament next week when sessions resume.”

“We will head to the Federal Court to challenge the illegal and unconstitutional decisions of the Kirkuk provincial council. We will also urge the cabinet to take swift and clear action against violations of Kirkuk governor, to dismiss him and disband the council,” Oghlo said.

On Tuesday, the provincial council of Kirkuk voted yes on running a referendum on the province’s secession from Iraq and joining the Kurdistan Region, which triggered a dispute of sovereignty between Erbil and Baghdad, which deemed the measure a breach of national unity.

Kurdistan disputes sovereignty with Iraq on the oil-rich province, located in the south of the region. Its population comprises Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen ethnicities.

The provincial council voted on March 28 in favour of the decision by the governor to hoist the Kurdistan flag alongside the Iraqi flag on the state buildings in the city.

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