September 14, 2017 / 12:36 PM / a year ago

Iraqi parliament 'has no right' to remove Kirkuk's governor: senior Kurdish official

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq’s parliament “has no right” to remove Kirkuk’s governor from office, a senior Kurdish official said on Thursday, after parliament voted him out following a request by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

“He is an elected governor of the council of Kirkuk,” said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani. “That is the only body that can remove him.”

The decision to remove the governor, Najmaddin Kareem, comes after Kirkuk - an oil-rich province claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq - voted to take part in a referendum set for Sept. 25 on Kurdish independence.

Reporting by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Alison Williams

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