News / Middle East

    Reformists in Lead as Iran's Parliamentary Vote Counting Continues

    Iranian journalists wait for the announcement of results of parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at the Interior Ministry, in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 27, 2016.
    Iranian journalists wait for the announcement of results of parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at the Interior Ministry, in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 27, 2016.
    VOA News

    Iran continues to count votes Sunday from its parliamentary election, with final results in most races expected Monday.

    Partial results indicate major gains for reformist and moderates who favor engagement with the West.

    President Hassan Rouhani and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani are also leading the race for membership in the Assembly of Experts. The influential body monitors the work of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on Iran's foreign policy, and could choose the next supreme leader.

    Partial results point to hardliners losing ground in the 290-seat legislature. For Tehran's 30 seats, all went to reformists.

    Iran's official media on Saturday quoted Rouhani as saying the election has given 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 reported him as saying.

    Election test of nuclear deal

    The vote was the first election since the country's nuclear deal with world powers took effect.

    The final results may provide the first clue as to whether key Western proponents of the deal will receive what they hoped for; a more open, moderate Iran.

    The outcome could be interpreted as a comment on the level of support for the policies of Rouhani, who is up for re-election next year. Rouhani has made the nuclear agreement a key objective of his administration.

    Iranians hold their identification cards as they line up outside a polling station at Massoumeh shrine during the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections at a polling station in the holy city of Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    Iranians hold their identification cards as they line up outside a polling station at Massoumeh shrine during the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections at a polling station in the holy city of Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.

    Voting for future

    Iranian State TV showed voters across Iran giving their reasons for their choices. A man with a young child said he was “voting for his children's future,” while an older woman said she wanted to “foil Iran's enemies, who are plotting against the country.”

    A correspondent for Iran's Al Alam TV at a major Tehran polling station said turnout was “beyond expectations,” and that “long lines of voters had shown up” to “express their support for their country and its Islamic system.”

    An Iranian woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    An Iranian woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.

     

    Political analyst Mohamed Ali Mirzani told the TV that Iranian electors like to vote at odds to the way foreign countries want them to vote in order to quash threats posed from abroad. He said voters know their participation is important in deciding the fate of their country.

    Large turnout

    Newspapers reported a huge turnout at the polls Friday, including many young voters.

    Polls had been scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m., but remained open much later in some cases. State television showed long lines both in Tehran and in polling places around the country.

    Some 55 million Iranians were registered to cast ballots for members of the conservative-dominated 290-seat parliament as well as the 88-member Assembly of Experts.

    • Iranians stand in line at a polling station during the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections in Qom, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iranian women stand in line at a polling station during the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections in Qom, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • An Iranian man and a woman check the names of candidates from the list before voting for the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections at a polling station in the holy city of Qom, 130kms south of the capital Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • In this photo released by official website of the office of Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses election officials in Tehran, Jan. 21, 2016.
    • Iranian voters, left, arrive at a polling station to vote for their country's parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections as election staff receive them in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • An Iranian woman casts her ballot during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani votes in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • An Iranian woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iran's former Parliament speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri fills in his ballot during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iranians vote in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iranian former vice president and candidate for parliamentary election Mohammad Reza Aref and his wife show their ink-stained fingers after casting their ballots during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.

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    by: Kafantaris
    February 27, 2016 5:23 PM
    Time for Iran to embark on its destined journey of economic and technological greatness. "The competition is over and the era of unity and cooperation has arrived." -- Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

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