Iranian parliament and assembly elections favor conservatives

In Iran, a nation grappling with political and economic challenges, parliamentary and religious assembly elections have been dominated by various conservative candidates.

Millions of individuals participated in the election on Friday, where 290 legislators and 88 members of the Assembly of Experts, an all-Islamic scholar body charged with electing the supreme leader, were selected. At this moment, the final tally of votes is being tallied.

Saturday’s official preliminary results from Tehran indicate that ultraconservatives Hamid Resale and Mahmoud Nabavian topped the list of 30 representatives, followed by Amir Hossein Sabeti, a 35-year-old former state television presenter now a first-time lawmaker.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, secretary of parliament, placed fourth, and only a few candidates he backed advanced. Mojtaba Zonnour, a veteran lawmaker, procured a position in the sanctified Shia metropolis of Qom.

Limited representation of moderate or reformist viewpoints in parliament was evident in the second parliamentary election, marked by their scarcity.

Veteran lawmaker Masoud Pezeshkian will represent Tabriz in the twelfth parliament. He was among the few moderates to obtain votes and approval from the constitutional watchdog Guardian Council.

Moderate Politician Misses Tehran Seat

Ali Motahari, the progeny of the esteemed late scholar Morteza Motahari and a former conservative member of parliament, and the son of Motahari, who has evolved into a more moderate politician in comparison to his contemporaries, was unable to secure a seat for Tehran alongside the majority of the 30 candidates on his list.Iranian parliament and assembly elections favor conservatives

With a confident re-election to the Assembly of Experts, President Ebrahim Raisi secured over 82 percent of the vote in the eastern Iranian province of South Khorasan for a third term in office.

Following the disqualification of other candidates by the Guardian Council, the president initially had no opponent. However, one candidate changed his district to formally challenge Raisi for a seat in the sixth term of the assembly, which will last until mid-3032.

Ahmad Khatami, the present imam of Friday prayers in Tehran and an ultraconservative, has been elected to represent the province of Kerman at the assembly. Mohammad Saeedi serves as the representative of Qom.

According to local media, Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the representative of the supreme leader in Tabriz, received more than 834,000 ballots, the most ever cast for an assembly winner. With this total, he won the province of East Azerbaijan.

Sadegh Amoli Larijani, a current president of the preeminent arbitration organization Expediency Council and a senior member of the influential Larijani family, was arguably the most conspicuous absentee from the assembly.

Candidates have until Thursday to formally lodge any complaints, according to a statement released on Saturday by Guardian Council spokesman Tahan Nazif.

Everything turnout

In total, 59,000 polling stations were utilized throughout Iran, 6,800 of which were located in the province of Tehran, which encompasses the capital and several neighboring cities.

Voter access was extended three times until midnight on Friday, as the Ministry of the Interior informed citizens via text messages that polling stations remained operational due to a “rush” of individuals.

However, regardless of political stance, numerous discussions about the elections were dominated by analyses of the low voter turnout in the initial polls since the nationwide protests of 2022-2023 and Iran’s economy, which has been burdened by high inflation due to the United States sanctions.

Although the results are not yet in, state-affiliated media reported on Saturday that approximately 25 million Iranians cast ballots, which they termed a “huge defeat” for an anti-establishment campaign to boycott the elections.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) expressed gratitude to Iranian citizens for their “glorious” election participation, describing it as a “decisive response to enemies.”

That figure would equate to approximately 40% voter turnout out of 61.2 million eligible voters, comparable to the 2020 election that elected lawmakers to parliament with a 42% turnout, the lowest percentage in Iran’s history since the 1979 revolution.

A quarter of the approximately 7.7 million eligible electors in Tehran are believed to have participated in the election, pending final results.

The Iranian rial, the country’s currency, maintained its decline on Saturday, extending a downward trajectory that began in 2024 and has been partially influenced by apprehensions regarding the escalation of military conflicts between the coalition headed by the United States and the “axis of resistance” supported by Iran in the region.

On the open market, the rial depreciated to approximately 600,000 per US dollar at the beginning of the Iranian week on Saturday. It had fallen to that level in late February 2023 before regaining ground.

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