Middle East/North Africa

Iranian hardliners win all parliamentary seats in Tehran: report

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Iranian hardliners won all of the parliamentary seats in Tehran, as the country experienced the lowest voter turnout since the Islamic Revolution four decades ago, state TV said, according to The Associated Press.

Iran’s interior ministry said Sunday the voter turnout reached 42.57 percent, The Associated Press reported, noting it could be a sign of dissatisfaction with the government and the economy as U.S. sanctions continue. Comparatively, the turnout in 2016 was almost 62 percent and has consistently been above 50 percent since the Islamic Revolution.

More than 7,000 potential candidates were disqualified from their races, most of whom were reformists and moderates. Ninety of those disqualified were sitting members of Iran’s parliament, which has 290 seats. 

Iranian officials had encouraged voters to turn out to stand up against the U.S. sanctions. 

The coronavirus also could have impacted voter turnout as the country reported its first cases and deaths two days before the election, the AP noted. Iran has reported eight deaths and 43 infections across five cities, including the capital. Voters showed up at the polls with facemasks.

In Tehran, 25.4 percent of eligible voters showed, which Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said, “we believe that the number of votes and the turnout is absolutely acceptable,” according to the AP.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized the high number of disqualifications and alleged enemy “propaganda” attempted to scare voters away from the polls by exaggerating the extent of the coronavirus, the AP reported.

Iran has had a tumultuous few months with anti-government protests erupting in November and a passenger jet being shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard at the height of tensions with the U.S. amid Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s death.

Tags Iran Iran election Tehran

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