Parliamentary elections underway in Iran

March 14th, 2008 - 4:04 pm ICT by admin  

Tehran, March 14 (IANS) Iran’s parliamentary elections got underway Friday, with 4,400 candidates contesting for 290 seats in the Majlis, the country’s top legislature, news agency IRNA reported. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was among the first to cast his ballot in the voting to elect the eighth Majlis.

Alongside the parliamentary elections in a total of 207 constituencies, by-elections were being held in Tehran, Qazvin, Ilam and East Azarbaijan provinces for the Expert Assembly.

Voting was scheduled to go on for 10 hours until 6 p.m. that could be extended up to 10 p.m.

The three main contending parties are the ruling ultra-conservative faction close to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reformists close to former president Mohammad Khatami and a conservative faction headed by former chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, which is critical of Ahmadinejad’s economic policies.

Votes were being cast manually and first results would be known only by Saturday, while results from the politically important Tehran parliamentary constituency would be known no earlier than Sunday.

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