Parliament casts toothless vote to dismiss Kirkuk governor

Relations continue to deteriorate between leaders in Kurdistan and Baghdad ahead of a controversial independence referendum.
Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani (L) sits with Kirkuk Gov. Najmaldin Karim during a visit to Kirkuk on July 8, 2015. (AKO RASHEED/Reuters)

KIRKUK - The Iraqi Parliament voted Thursday to remove Kirkuk Gov. Najmaldin Karim from his post - the latest episode indicating how Kurdistan’s impending independence referendum is straining the political fabric of Iraq.

The practical impact of the vote remains unclear. Not only is it likely to face legal challenges, but the federal government will also have trouble enforcing any action against the governor since Kirkuk is controlled by security forces answering to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

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