Iran election results split between 3 groups

Chairman of the Iran's Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi speaks during their biannual meeting in Tehran, Iran. (File photo: AP)

Final election results show that Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rowhani’s allies made strong gains but none of the main political groupings won enough seats for a majority in parliament.

An AFP tally, based on declarations on state television and Iranian media, showed parliament’s 290 seats split between three main groups.

Conservatives secured 103 MPs, the pro-Rowhani “List of Hope” comprising moderates and reformists had 95, and 69 seats had no clear winner and will require a second round of voting in April.

The remaining seats went to independent candidates and minorities.

Earlier, results from last week’s election confirmed on Monday showed two leading hardline ayatollahs, Mohammad Yazdi and Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, have lost their seats on Iran’s top clerical body.

The reformist alliance formed in support of Rowhani had campaigned against both Yazdi, the outgoing chairman of the Assembly of Experts, and Mesbah-Yazdi, an outspoken opponent of the reformists.

But a third conservative, Ahmad Jannati, who had been targeted by the pro-Rowhani coalition, narrowly kept his seat on the assembly, a powerful committee which oversees the work of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, state television reported.

Iran said on Monday that counting of votes cast in Friday's twin elections was over and the nationwide turnout was 62 percent.

"Counting of the votes is finished .... the participation in Tehran was 50 percent and in the whole country was around 62
percent," said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.

Jannati, who chairs the conservative-dominated Guardian Council which must confirm the results of Friday’s elections for both the assembly and for parliament, came 16th in Tehran, scraping the last of the capital’s 16 assembly seats.

Verification of the result is not expected for several days.

The election to the 88-member Assembly of Experts is important because it will pick Khamenei’s successor if he dies during its eight-year term.

Rowhani placed third in polling for the assembly in Tehran and his key ally, former president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani took first place.

Conservative accusations

The race for the Assembly of Experts saw claims from prominent conservatives of foreign interference and some accused the Rowhani-Rafsanjani slate of being “a British list”.

On Sunday as it became increasingly clear that Yazdi and Mesbah-Yazdi were set to lose their seats the head of the country’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani echoed those allegations.

Reformists worked with “American and English media outlets” during the poll, Larijani charged.

“Is this type of coordination with foreigners in order to push out these figures from the Assembly of Experts in the interests of the regime?” he asked.

Rowhani’s government dismissed the accusations when they were first made during the election campaign.

“We don’t have anything such as a British list and if anyone wants to say that there is such a list, they are in fact insulting the Guardian Council,” said government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, a vice president.

The Guardian Council approved all candidates who ran in the elections for parliament and for the Assembly of Experts.

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:57 - GMT 10:57
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