Iranian conservatives lead in capital Tehran

March 16th, 2008 - 8:33 am ICT by admin  

Tehran, March 16 (DPA) Conservatives lead in the Iranian capital’s constituency, whose 30 seats 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.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pur Mohammadi said Saturday that the conservative faction had so far gained more than 70 percent of the votes in the provinces in Friday’s parliamentary elections.

The lead by the conservatives was expected as they formed the majority of the candidates, after more than half of the reformist candidates were disqualified by the senate-like Guardian Council for alleged lack of loyalty to the Islamic system.

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 grew apart from him and formed their own faction.

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

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