ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – In an official statement on Thursday, the Kurdistan Region Presidency slammed the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to sack the Kurdish Governor of Kirkuk.
The Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP) criticized the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to sack Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk, calling it “unconstitutional.”
“The KRP strongly rejects the decision of the Iraqi Council of Representatives to sack [Karim] from his position,” the statement said.
The report also said the Iraqi government “violated the Constitution,” and the decision was an example of the “failed partnership” between Baghdad and Erbil
“The people of Kurdistan, including Kirkuk, will not abide by the decision of the Iraqi Parliament,” the statement added.
Early Thursday, the Office of the Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker announced it had received a letter from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi requesting the Parliament sack Kirkuk Governor Karim.
In response, MPs in the Iraqi Parliament collected 128 signatures to remove the Kurdish governor who has been campaigning for the upcoming independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region.
Members of the Iraqi Parliament voted to sack Karim from his position shortly after Abadi called on the Parliament to remove the Kurdish official from his post.
At the same time, Iraqi MPs gathered 110 signatures to sack Iraq’s Kurdish President Fuad Masum.
No reason was given by Baghdad to dismiss both Kurdish politicians.
However, the decision is suspected to be linked to the current push by Kurdish parties to hold the independence referendum on Sep. 25.
Karim has been campaigning with the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani this week and has also called for the referendum to be held in the disputed province of Kirkuk.
During Kirkuk’s general elections in 2014, he won by a landslide, receiving over 200,000 votes and has enjoyed significant support across ethnic and religious groups in the province.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany