Iran election second round to be held April 25

Iranians will vote on April 25 in the second round of parliamentary elections to decide the final make-up of their new parliament, with conservatives set to retain control, officials said Monday.

Iran election second round to be held April 25
Eighty-six seats in the 290 seat parliament are to be decided in the second round vote, following a first round poll on March 14.

"The date of the second stage of elections for the eighth parliament has been set for Friday, April 25," the spokesman of the Guardians Council legislative watchdog, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted as saying by state television.

Conservatives swept the first round and won all the seats that were decided outright in the key battleground of Tehran, prompting allegations of foul play from reformists. Conservatives are projected to win 75 percent of the chamber.

Iran's embattled reformists had already been severely handicapped in the elections by the mass disqualification of hundreds of their candidates in pre-election vetting by bodies.

According to Iran's election rules, candidates require at least 25 percent of the vote to be elected automatically, failing which they have to contest a second round.

Conservatives took 19 of the 30 seats available for Tehran. Twenty-two leading candidates, including some reformists, who failed to reach the minimum percentage are eligible to contest the run-off for the remaining 11 seats.

Reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami and the head of the reformist National Confidence Party, Mehdi Karroubi, have called for a recount of votes in Tehran.

Reformist eyebrows have been raised over why the results for the capital took several days to be finalised. The authorities have yet to give figures for how many seats the various factions won in round one.

Kadkhodaei said the Guardians Council has so far confirmed the accuracy of the vote in 60 electoral districts out of around 200 throughout the country.

But the results of voting in Tehran, a traditional stronghold of pro-Khatami reformists, has yet to be approved by the council.

Last Mod: 24 Mart 2008, 18:26
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