Conservaties take control of Iranian parliament23/02/2004 - 13:48:54
Iranian conservatives formally reclaimed control of parliament today following disputed elections boycotted by reformists who called the vote a “historical fiasco” in which voters had no free choice.
Candidates considered loyal to Iran’s Islamic rulers took at least 149 places in the 290 seat parliament, which has been controlled by pro-reform MPs since their landslide win four years ago.
That puts conservatives past the 146 seat benchmark for a clear majority. Reformers and self-described independents had taken about 65 seats. The final count is expected tomorrow.
The conservative victory was already expected even before Friday’s elections. Reformers widely boycotted the vote after more than 2,400 liberal candidates were banned from running.
The nationwide turnout stood at slightly more than 50%. But in the capital, Tehran, 33% of voters turned out, the Interior Ministry said.
It was a noticeable drop from the 67.2% in the last parliament elections in 2000.
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