Iran elections: hardliners win all 30 parliament seats for Tehran

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The conservatives secured victory in the capital, according to state media

Feb 23, 2020

February 23, 2020

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Hardliners in Iran have secured all 30 parliamentary seats in Tehran, the capital of the Islamic republic, state television reported on Sunday.

These were the initial results of its first round of parliamentary elections, which were held on February 21 and expected to produce victory for the country's conservatives.

Early indications from Tehran and other provinces show that the principlist and conservative factions have met those expectations and enjoyed an overwhelming victory.

Figures for the voter turnout haven't been released. Much hinges on voter turnout, which will be a key gauge of support for Iran’s leadership and legitimacy as well

The strong victory for principlists and conservatives may be due to the Guardian Council, a vetting body of six clerics appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and six jurists, disqualified more than half of the 14,000 people who had applied to be candidates in December to enter the race.

This barring of eligible candidates included some candidates from the prinicplist faction among those barred and 90 current members of parliament (MPs).

The majority of those rejected by the Guardian Council came from the reformists and the moderates. This led reformist and moderate factions to boycott elections in Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate himself, criticised the Guardian Council by saying "This is not an election” in a televised speech on January 15, but still urged Iranian's to vote.

In the 2016 election, the reformists bloc and their centrist and conservatives/moderate theocratic allies won 41 per cent of parliamentary seats. The principlists won 29 per cent and independents took 28 per cent of the seats. The result was a setback for the conservative bloc.

This parliamentary election was also supposed to facilitate a review of Iran's Constitution to pave the way for a smooth succession after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while he is still in good health to supervise the transition.

More to follow.

Updated: February 23, 2020 03:21 PM

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