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Conservatives top the results with continued vote counting in Iran

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Conservatives made progress with the disclosure of the first results of the Iranian legislative elections on Saturday, amid expectations of a low turnout after about half of the nominations were rejected.

Friday’s elections were held after months of escalating acute tension between Iran and the United States.

It was expected that a large percentage of voters would refrain from participating because of their disappointment over the promises that the government did not fulfill, amid their suffering to manage their affairs in a country whose economy suffers from harsh US sanctions.

Half of the requests submitted by about 16,000 candidates, including many reformists and moderates and dozens of deputies, were rejected, making competition easy for conservatives.

By Saturday noon, it was announced that the votes would be counted in 71 electoral districts across Iran, according to figures released by the National Electoral Commission published by the semi-official Student News Agency (ISNA).

Tehran is the most important constituency, with 30 seats.

He added that most of the votes went to the first three names in the list of this alliance.

Muhammad Baqir Qalibaf, a three-time presidential candidate, is a former police chief, a member of the Revolutionary Guards, and a mayor of Tehran between 2005 and 2017.

Mousavi added that the reformists and the moderates are hardly present among the names of the first 37 candidates who led the results in Tehran.

He pointed to publishing the full results by saying, “We will try to publish the final figures tonight and if it takes a long time, tomorrow.”

If the results are confirmed, it will mean that President Hassan Rouhani will lose the limited majority of reformists and moderates who support him, whose election caused an uproar four years ago.

“Many of those who participated in the last legislative elections have lost their enthusiasm since then,” a taxi driver in Tehran told AFP.

– landslide? –

With the official figures released successively, conservative and ultra-conservative news agencies expected their candidates to be overwhelmed.

According to an unofficial tally published by Fars News Agency, 183 of the Shura Council’s 290 seats have already been won and announced that 135 conservative candidates have won.

The agency estimated the total number of seats it granted to reformers at 20 and independents at 28.

The eleventh parliamentary elections have taken place since the Islamic revolution in 1979 after escalating tension between Tehran and Washington and the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian plane in an incident that sparked anti-government protests.

The turnout rate was estimated at about 40 percent nationwide and 30 percent in Tehran at the scheduled time for polling stations to close at 14:30 GMT on Friday, according to Fars.

But the authorities extended the poll for another six hours to allow the largest possible number of voters to vote.

Fars said that the official participation rate will be announced on Saturday, while the official results are not expected until Sunday.

Schools, according to the authorities, remained closed on Saturday in dozens of cities and towns, with screening continuing.

Iran has been in deep recession since U.S. President Donald Trump re-tightened sanctions after he withdrew in 2018 from the nuclear deal with major powers.

The Guardian Council rejected the demands of about half of the candidates for the elections. Most of those rejected were reformists or reformers, while governors dominated the Guardian Council.

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