Posts Tagged ‘Iranian elections’

Moderates, Reformists Win Key Iran Election Races

February 29, 2016

Results indicate repudiation to hard-line opponents of landmark nuclear deal

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Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani may get the support he needs to pass social and political reforms

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Updated Feb. 29, 2016 9:32 a.m. ET

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TEHRAN—Moderates and reformists close to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have won key seats in Iran’s parliament and Assembly of Experts, dealing a setback to hard-lines opposed the Iranian leaders’ policy of more openness to the West.

In the first parliamentary election since Mr. Rouhani’s government reached a nuclear deal in July with the U.S. and other world powers, moderates and reformists took all 30 of Tehran’s seats in the 290-seat parliament, or Majlis, state television reported Monday.

In contests for the powerful Assembly of Experts, which will pick a successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the same moderate-reformist bloc also won all but one of the capital’s 16 seats to the 88-member body.

Moderate candidates have won 15 of the 16 seats in an election for Iran’s Assembly of Experts, the 88-member clerical body that will elect a successor to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo: Getty Images.

The outcome from races outside Tehran and other Iranian cities was still being assessed, but there were preliminary indications that the bloc performed well there, too. If so, the Mr. Rouhani would have a parliamentary majority—a huge blow to opponents of the nuclear accord.

The ballot was seen as a referendum on President Rouhani, who staked his government’s success on achieving the nuclear accord and ending Iran’s isolation abroad. Under the agreement, Tehran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state television that about 34 million of Iran’s 55 million eligible voters—or 62%—cast ballots on Friday, down slightly from 63.9% in parliamentary elections in 2012.

Iran has reached a historic agreement with major world powers over its nuclear program. What is Iran giving up, and how does it benefit in the long run? And what are supporters and critics of the deal saying? WSJ’s Niki Blasina explains.

An Iranian man holds a copy of the daily Shargh newspaper with a headline reading “Decisive victory for the reformist” in Tehran, 28 Feb.
An Iranian man holds a copy of the daily Shargh newspaper with a headline reading “Decisive victory for the reformist” in Tehran, 28 Feb. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Write to Asa Fitch at asa.fitch@wsj.com

Read the rest:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/moderates-win-majority-in-tehran-in-iranian-elections-1456736113

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Iran Vote Still Being Counted But It Looks Like Allies of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Have Won all of Tehran’s Parliamentary Seats

February 28, 2016

Reformist candidates in Iran appear set to win all 30 seats in the capital, Tehran. Such a result would be a resounding vote of confidence for President Rouhani, who struck a nuclear deal with world powers last year.

Allies of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have won all of Tehran’s parliamentary seats, according to initial results carried by state television on Sunday. The tally is based on around 90 percent of votes counted in the capital – a key battleground.

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Around 33 million people cast ballots in Friday’s vote to elect parliament and the Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for choosing the next supreme leader. Both bodies have traditionally been controlled by hardliners close to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But the extent of Rouhani’s gains in Tehran suggest the parliament may soon be more receptive to his plans to open Iran up to foreign trade and improve relations with the West.

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“The people showed their power once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government,” Rouhani said, adding he would work with lawmakers to build a future for the oil-exporting country.
Should the initial tally for Tehran be confirmed, it would mean the pro-Rouhani List of Hope, led by reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, would unseat leading conservative candidate Gholamali Haddad Adel. It would also see all eight women on the List of Hope elected.

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Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani may get the support he needs to pass social and political reforms

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No clear majority

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More than 4,800 candidates are vying for the 290 seats in Iran’s parliament. But while the reformists have made impressive gains in Tehran, they haven’t fared as well in the provinces. None of Iran’s main political groups – reformists, conservatives or hardliners – are expected to win a majority in the assembly.

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The outcome of the vote is being seen as a de-facto referendum on President Rouhani, a political moderate, who successfully steered Iran towards a landmark nuclear deal with world powers last year, lifting sanctions that have stifled economic growth.

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According to Foad Izadi, a politics professor at Tehran University’s Faculty of World Studies, the nuclear agreement and the removal of sanctions were major factors behind the reformists’ advances in Tehran.
“The reformists gained 30 percent and independent candidates did better than before, gaining 20 percent,” he said. “It is a sweeping victory for Tehran but for other cities it is not yet clear cut. It is beyond expectations.”

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Final election results are expected in the next few days.

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nm/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

http://www.dw.com/en/reformers-on-track-to-take-all-tehran-seats-in-iran-elections/a-19080210