Iran’s post-poll conservatives victorious - but split

March 16th, 2008 - 10:06 pm ICT by admin  

Tehran, March 16 (DPA) The conservatives have gained a convincing victory in Iran’s parliamentary elections, state media reported Sunday. According to the Fars news agency, conservatives gained more than 70 percent of the votes, reformists around 20 percent and the rest went to independent candidates.

The conservatives were also expected to win in the Iranian capital - 30 seats of which are some of the most politically significant in Iran’s parliament - according to results Sunday after parliamentary elections across the country two days earlier.

According to initial results carried by state news agency ISNA, Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel, a close aide of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, leads the Tehran list, followed by other conservatives, most of them supporters of the president.

The only reformist candidate who could slip into the top 30 is Majid Ansari. Other reformists are considerably behind.

Despite the landslide win, the conservatives are reportedly split over their support for the president, especially Ahmadinejad’s economic policies. It remained unclear what percentage of the 70 per cent would also fully stand behind the president.

The most prominent Ahmadinejad opponent already elected to parliament is Ali Larijani, who gained a big win in the religious city of Qom, 130 km south of Tehran.

He represents the so-called “revisionists,” a group that used to back the president but gradually drifted apart and formed their own faction.

Larijani resigned last October as chief nuclear negotiator after differences with Ahmadinejad over the country’s nuclear policies. He has since been regarded as a critic of the president, especially over economic policies which have caused high inflation.

While calling on the conservative winners not to get arrogant,Larijani predicted that the new legislative period would be different, “more effective and more focused on national interests.”

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