Pro-Gov’t Forces Extend Electoral Gains

Pro-Gov’t Forces  Extend Electoral GainsPro-Gov’t Forces  Extend Electoral Gains

The returns of the Friday parliamentary runoffs show the List of Hope, an alliance of reformists and government backers, has scored bigger gains than the primary votes, securing a simple majority in the next assembly.

The latest statements released on Saturday by the Interior Ministry, the body in charge of conducting elections, said 34 members of the List of Hope have made their way to parliament, while eight principlists are elected as lawmaker and the remaining seats belong to independents, ISNA reported.

This is while in the Feb. 26 primary polls, in which 222 candidates were elected, the alliance of reformist-government backers won 83 seats and principlists 75, according to the report.

It should be noted that figures are approximate, due to the lack of a formal party structure in the country.

Although no side could obtain an absolute majority, pro-government forces clinched a big win by ending the 12-year-old dominance of principlists.

In the second round of the legislative votes, 136 candidates competed in 55 constituencies for 68 seats, where nobody could garner at least 25% of the votes in the primary elections.

59% Turnout  

Interior Ministry spokesman, Hossein Ali Amiri, said in a press conference on Saturday that from about 17 million eligible Iranians, 59% voted in the runoffs.

In February, over 34 million Iranians, out of 55 million eligible people, had cast ballots, which meant a 62% voter turnout.

Amiri said there were four women among the runoff winners. In view of the fact that 13 other women were previously elected, female legislators will have their largest share of seats in parliament since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The second-largest record belongs to the fifth Majlis that had 14 women lawmakers.

Elections for the 290-member house are held every four years.

The closing session of the current parliament will be held on May 24 and the new parliament will convene on May 28.