Conservatives to Hold Power in Iranian Parliament

A02285556.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s conservatives were set Sunday to win two-thirds of the seats in parliament after dominating legislative elections.

Interior Ministry announced that conservatives are expected to secure 71 percent of seats, meaning that Iranians have again entrusted the parliament to the Principlists.

Initial indications from the race for Tehran – which sends 30 MPs to parliament – showed that conservative candidates took the first 14 seats without recourse to a second round.

Meantime, reformist coalition spokesman Abdollah Nasseri said reformists were set to win around 50 seats outside of Tehran and would also pick up seats in run-off votes next month in the capital.

If confirmed, this would mean reformists have actually increased their numbers in the 290-seat parliament, where they currently have around 40 MPs.

Irrespective of the political tendencies of the winning parties, the public turnout of around 60 percent is clearly perceived as a glorious vote of confidence in the Islamic Republic, specially at a time of tension with the West.

“Once again, your glorious and powerful presence in the election foiled enemies’ plots. Their psychological war to make low turnout was no more than an empty bubble,” said Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Partial results from Tehran showed a resounding victory for conservatives, with parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel polling the most votes.

He was followed by 13 other conservatives, including four members of the Sweet Scent of Service list of Ahmadinejad loyalists, who were set to be elected directly to parliament without having to go into a run-off.

Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, standing for conservatives in the holy city of Qom and tipped as a future speaker, was elected in a landslide victory with over 70 percent of the vote.

The main conservative coalition was the “Unified Principlists Front” but a breakaway coalition named “Broad Principlists Coalition”, whose views are somehow different from President Ahmadinejad about a few issues, emerged in the election.

Compared with other legislatures in the region, Iran’s parliament wields a respectable amount of power, but its capacities are limited by the unelected Guardians Council, which must approve all legislation.

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