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Dispirited Kurds shy away from Iraqi elections in Kirkuk

Ali Choukeir writes for AFP:

In the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk it is hard to find posters of Kurdish candidates for Iraq's upcoming elections, but the campaigns of other hopefuls are in full swing.

The past seven months have seen a dramatic turn of events in Kirkuk, the "Jerusalem of Kurdistan" where hopes of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan were dashed after Baghdad retaliated against a referendum held in September.

In the Kurdish neighbourhood of Rahim Awa, home to the polling station that received the largest number of votes in the referendum, passers-by prefer not to discuss the return to the polls.

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