A private guard stands before a campaign poster for Rebwar Taha Mustafa.
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In the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk it is hard to find posters of Kurdish candidates for Iraq's upcoming polls, but the campaigns of other hopefuls are in full swing.The May 12 national elections have been welcomed by the city's Arab and Turkmen politicians, who are busy organizing campaign meetings and whose election posters hang proudly in place. Rahim is one of 940,000 registered voters in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, who will decide between 291 candidates – 80 percent of which are new faces – divided into 31 lists.In the 2014 elections Kurds took eight of the available seats, with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan winning six seats and their rivals the Kurdistan Democratic Party securing the other two. Kirkuk's Arab and Turkmen communities each saw two lawmakers voted into Parliament.It has since been replaced by the blue Turkmen flag, adorned with a crescent moon and one star, along with slogans for Arab candidates declaring "Kirkuk belongs to its residents".
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