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.
In the capital, even the head of the conservative coalition was ejected, in a wipeout that saw the reformist faction — known as the List of Hope — win all 30 seats.
Despite that loss, the conservatives held on nationally, winning 103 seats against 95 for their reformist and moderate rivals in the 290-member parliament.
But the split result — other seats were won by nominally independent candidates and minorities — meant no faction won a majority.