Moderate conservatives and reformists have taken the lead in Iran’s parliamentary elections, according to unofficial counts. If held, the result could help President Hassan Rouhani have a more favorable house.
Early results Saturday have shown reformists and moderate conservatives as leading in Iran’s parliamentary elections, according to unofficial counts from the AP news agency and reports from “Fars” and “Mehr” news agencies.
The results indicate that moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who has been credited with trying to improve ties with the West, may more easily pursue his political agenda. Moderates are expected to cash in on the lifting of international sanctions after the historic nuclear deal was agreed upon by world powers, while reformists are seeking greater democratic changes.
Partial results from around 50 small towns across the country have emerged, indicating that reformists and their moderate allies were leading the vote, with early returns suggesting that none of the three competing politicals factions will win a majority in the 290-seat parliament.
Hardliners are said to be mainly made up of loyalists from Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who during his two terms in office aroused strain with the US. Early indications point to them as the main losers of the vote.
The country has voted to elect members to the parliament as well as clerics of the Assembly of Experts, an 88-member body that monitors the work of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Electoral officials claimed that more than 28 million people had cast their ballot in the elections, resulting in a turnout of more than 50 percent. Many polling stations in large cities, including capital Tehran, where around 5.5 million people had voted to elect 30 MPs, had to remain open until after the midnight deadline.