Iran Elections 2016: Hassan Rouhani’s Reformists Win All Tehran Seats
Iran’s reformists have won a landslide victory in Tehran, in the first elections since the country signed a nuclear deal with world powers.
With 90% of the votes counted, the allies of reformist President Hassan Rouhani – the pro-Rouhani List of Hope – are set to take all 30 seats in Tehran.
The leading conservative candidate Gholamali Haddad-Adel is in 31st place.
Millions voted on February 26 to elect the 290-seat parliament as well as members of the Assembly of Experts.
The 88-member assembly appoints Iran’s Supreme Leader and might end up choosing a successor to Ayatollah Khamenei, who is 76 and has suffered ill-health.
Early results gave former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate Conservative, and Hassan Rouhani the most votes for the assembly, which is composed of mostly elder and senior clerics.
By contrast, the leading candidate of Islamic hardliners, Ayatollah Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, was hovering near the bottom of the list.
The parliamentary result in Tehran is significant because lawmakers from the capital usually determine the political direction of the house, analysts say.
However, reformists look to have done less well in constituencies outside the capital.
Hassan Rouhani said on February 27 that the election gave the government more credibility and clout.
“The competition is over. It’s time to open a new chapter in Iran’s economic development based on domestic abilities and international opportunities,” the official Irna news agency quoted the president as saying.
“The people showed their power once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government.”
Voting was extended three times as crowds reportedly flocked to polling stations. Turnout was more than 60%.
Reformists, who want better relations with the outside world and more freedoms at home, were hoping to gain influence in the conservative-dominated bodies.
However, of 12,000 people who registered as candidates, only half were allowed to stand, including just 200 moderates.
This was the first election to be held since last year’s deal between Iran and world powers over the country’s nuclear program and the lifting of sanctions.