Iraq MPs sack Kirkuk governor over Kurd independence vote
Iraq's parliament voted on Thursday to sack the governor of oil-rich Kirkuk over his decision for the northern province to vote in a Kurdish independence referendum opposed by Baghdad.
Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi said he had received a letter from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office calling for MPs to vote on the dismissal of the governor, Najm Eddine Karim.
Iraq's parliament's on Tuesday voted against plans by Kurdish leaders to hold an independence referendum just two weeks before it was to be held, echoing regional criticism of the poll.
The non-binding referendum planned for September 25 has faced strong opposition from neighboring Iran and Turkey, which fear it will stoke separatist aspirations among their own sizeable Kurdish minorities.
Critics of the vote, including the United States and the European Union and even members of the 5.5 million-strong Iraqi Kurdish population, say it could distract from the fight against jihadists.
Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces have played a key role in battling the Islamic State group (IS) which captured swathes of the country in 2014, and the fight has borne fruit in recent months.
The vote -- which prompted a walkout by Kurdish lawmakers -- came as the Kurdish parliament said it would meet on Thursday, for the first time in two years, to vote on the referendum.
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Kurds are the only people with a damn in any of those counties