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