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Iranian Conservatives Seen Winning 70 Percent of Parliament Seats


Iranian officials say almost complete election results indicate conservative candidates will win about 70 percent of the seats in parliament.

But, results from Friday's election also show a split in Iran's conservative camp between radical supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his conservative critics.

One prominent conservative critic, Iran's former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, won a landslide victory in the city of Qom.

Iranian reformists expect to win at least 40 seats in the 290-seat parliament, about the same number they hold now - a performance some reformists described as a success.

Iran's unelected Guardian Council disqualified hundreds of reformist candidates, saying they did not sufficiently adhere to Iran's Islamic system.

The European Union criticized the elections today as "neither free nor fair."

It said Iran's election procedures fell below international standards and did not allow for a truly competitive ballot.

The United States has said the election was rigged because voters were not able to cast ballots for a full range of candidates.

Iranian officials say about 60 percent of Iran's 44 million eligible voters cast ballots in Friday's elections. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the turnout, saying Iranians had foiled an enemy plot to discourage people from voting.

Final results from the parliamentary election are expected to be announced on Monday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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