Iraq’s comeback cleric will have both Washington and Iran taking notice

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David Pratt

 

Driving across northern Iraq last week it was impossible not to have noticed that an election was imminent. Flanking every main road were seemingly endless billboards showing photographs of various candidates and extolling their respective qualities.

Occasionally one would pass the odd poster or billboard that had been defaced, presumably by rival supporters, something not unheard of even here at home.

The region through which I was passing of course was Iraqi Kurdistan. Here the dynamics of Saturday’s national poll took on its own peculiar regional traits among Kurds who last September voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence, only to have the result effectively nullified by the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.

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