Domestically-designed machines built to replace ballot boxes in the upcoming city council elections have been successfully tested, removing doubts over the implementation of electronic voting in Iranian elections. Abolfazl Aboutorabi, a member of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission, made the announcement in a talk with ICANA on Saturday. The elections will be held on May 19, concurrent with the presidential polls. A special parliamentary board, comprising three members of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission and two from Majlis Article 90 Commission, is tasked with vetting candidates and overseeing the city council elections.
Articles about voting issues in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Alireza Barati, deputy Interior Minister for e-governance and IT, has said the interior ministry is ready to hold electronic voting in the forthcoming presidential election if the Guardian Council gives the go-head. “Electronic voting offers advantages such as speed, accuracy and precision and we are ready to use it in the upcoming presidential election provided that the Guardian Council approves it,” ISNA quoted Barati as saying on Monday. There is an economic dimension to electronic voting as it remove the need to print ballots and count votes, the official added.
Iran’s new parliament will have more women than clerics when its members are sworn in this month, a first in the Islamic republic and a sign of the country’s evolving politics. Official results Saturday showed that reformist and moderate politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani won a big victory in second round parliamentary elections. The outcome saw them outnumber their conservative rivals — many hardliners lost seats — for the first time since 2004 and capped a remarkable comeback for reformists after years of isolation.
Iranian moderates and reformists who support last year’s landmark nuclear deal have won the largest number of seats in parliament following runoff elections, marking a shift away from hard-liners and boosting moderate President Hassan Rouhani as he looks to secure a second term in office. The results released Saturday on state television failed to give the moderate-reformist camp an outright majority in the 290-seat chamber, however. They will now likely try to attract support from dozens of independent lawmakers whose political leanings vary depending on the issue at hand. There were 68 seats being contested in runoff elections held Friday in 55 constituencies around the country. Residents in the capital, Tehran, did not take part in the second-round balloting because moderates won all 30 seats there outright in first-round voting in February.
Nearly a quarter of Iran’s parliamentary seats are at stake Friday in an election in which reformists want to consolidate their recent comeback and minimise the clout of hardline lawmakers. The second round run-offs were triggered because no candidate in 68 constituencies managed to win 25 percent of votes cast in the initial nationwide ballot on February 26. Reformists who backed the country’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani made big gains in the first round following Iran’s implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers, which lifted sanctions blamed for long hobbling the economy. Conservative MPs, including vehement opponents of the West who openly criticised the landmark agreement that reined in Iran’s atomic programme, lost dozens of seats.
With reformist-backed candidates securing a sweeping victory in Tehran, and moderates leading in provinces, a record number of women are set to enter the next Iranian parliament. Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament. Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as “the list of hope”. Among them is Parvaneh Salahshori, a 51-year-old sociologist and university professor originally from Masjed Soleyman, in the south of Iran. Her husband, Barat Ghobadian, also a university professor, was disqualified from running. As the results were being counted, an interview surfaced online showing Salahshori speaking out about discrimination against women in Iran, pleasing many women’s rights advocates. She also said women should be able to choose whether or not to wear the hijab, a taboo subject in the Islamic Republic.
Hardliners in Iran have been dealt a humiliating blow after reformist-backed candidates in Friday’s hard-fought elections appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Tehran, with a combination of moderates and independents sympathetic to President Hassan Rouhani leading in provinces. A coalition of candidates supported by the reformists, dubbed “the list of hope”, is likely to take all of the capital’s 30 parliamentary seats, according to the latest tally released by the interior ministry, in surprising results seen as a strong vote of confidence in Rouhani’s moderate agenda. Mohammad Reza Aref, a committed reformist who has a degree from Stanford University in the US, is at the top of the list. Preliminary results for the Assembly of Experts, which is responsible for appointing the next supreme leader, showed Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key Rouhani ally, leading the race. Elections to the assembly are usually a lacklustre event but have attracted huge attention this time because of the age of the current leader, 76-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei and Rafsanjani, a prominent pragmatist who was not allowed to run for president in 2013, have been at odds in recent years.
Iran: Early Results Show Reformists and Moderates Drawing Votes in Iran Elections | The New York Times
Preliminary results released Saturday in Iran indicated that reformist and moderate candidates were set to expand their influence after two important elections, state news media quoted the Interior Ministry as saying. More than 30 million Iranians voted Friday in the two elections, one for a new Parliament and the other for an influential clerical council. The elections were the first since the completion of an international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program that included the lifting of economic sanctions against the country, a deal supported by the reformist camp and opposed by hard-liners. Voter turnout for the two contests exceeded 60 percent, according to the Interior Ministry. The reformist and moderate list of candidates for the 290-member Parliament appeared to be headed for victory in the Tehran area, according to preliminary results announced by election officials and reported by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran News Network. Representatives from Tehran, the capital, control 30 seats in Parliament and generally determine the political direction of the body.
Iranians headed to the polls Friday in national elections that conservatives are once again expected to dominate parliament and other government bodies, constraining the ability of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s pragmatist president, to push through reforms. The election once had the potential to be pivotal until almost every would-be candidate advocating reform was barred from running. But with only a limited number of moderates and reformers on the ballot, analysts say the election is unlikely to foreshadow a history-making moment of change in Iran. The election — the first since a nuclear deal lifted most of the international sanctions that had hobbled economic growth — is being closely watched nevertheless. “Our enemies have their covetous eyes trained on Iran,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, according to state TV. “People are advised to vote with discretion and foresight and disappoint the enemies.”
Supporters of a coalition of reformists and backers of President Hassan Rouhani held their first joint rally in Tehran as thousands of Iranian candidates on Thursday launched their election campaigns ahead of the country’s Feb. 26 parliamentary elections. Hundreds of demonstrators — men and women, young and old — gathered in a public hall in central Tehran, chanting “reforms will be the winner of the elections.” When the head of the coalition list in Tehran, Mohammad Reza Aref, and his wife arrived in the hall, cheerful participants welcomed him as if he were a presidential candidate.
Aref, who served as vice-president under reformist Mohammad Khatami, Iran’s president from 1997 until 2005, responded with a smile and raised a hand to the crowd.