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Iraqi PM Abadi asks parliament to remove Kirkuk governor

BAGHDAD – Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asked the Iraqi parliament on Thursday to hold a vote on removing the governor of Kirkuk from office, the parliamentary speaker's office said.

 

Abadi's call came after Kirkuk - an oil-rich province claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq - decided to take part in a referendum set for Sept. 25 on Kurdish independence.

 

Baghdad and Iraq's neighbors are opposed to the referendum and earlier this week the Iraqi parliament authorized Abadi to "take all measures" to preserve national unity.