Reformists sweep most of Tehran's parliamentary seats-early results

Reuters , Saturday 27 Feb 2016

Election officials count ballot papers after the closure of polling stations during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Iran February 26, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Iranian reformists won 29 out of the 30 seats reserved for the capital Tehran in parliamentary elections, early results released on Saturday showed, with hardliners winning the single remainder.

Early Iranian election results show senior reformist Mohammed Reza Aref leading the race for parliamentary seats among candiates in Tehran, the interior ministry said.

A ministry statement said Aref "so far based on the counted votes is at the top of the list followed by five (other) reformists." Seventh on the list was a senior conservative, it said, according to votes tallied to date.

Aref, a Stanford-educated former presidential candidate and minister, who served as vice-president to the former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, leads the reformist list in Friday's contest in Tehran, where more than 1,000 candidates are competing for just 30 seats in parliament.

Iran's election has given the government more credibiltiy and clout, President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying by official media on Saturday, after reformists allied to him made gains in a contest for parliament and a leadership body.

"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. He added that the government would cooperate with anyone elected to build Iran's futue.

"The people showed their power once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government."

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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