SHAFAQNA – The head of police department in Iraq’s northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk says the governor has imposed a curfew following the closing of polls in a controversial referendum on the independence of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region from the central government in Baghdad.
Qader says the curfew will be lifted at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT).
On August 29, 22 of the 24 councilors present in the 41-member Kirkuk council voted in favor of holding the Kurdish independence referendum.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described the vote by Kirkuk provincial council as a wrong move, adding that the planned referendum was illegal and worthless.
Iraqi government spokesman, Saad al-Hadithi, also lambasted the vote as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
On September 14, the Iraqi parliament voted on the dismissal of 68-year-old Najmiddin Karim as the governor of Kirkuk province.
The provincial council, in return, condemned the decision; with its head Ribwar al-Talabani claiming only the council had the power to remove Karim.