इंडियन आवाज़     21 Feb 2024 04:10:47      انڈین آواز

Iran goes to polls first time after N-deal

Iranians went to the polls today in parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, seen as a contest between hardliners entrenched in power and allies of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani seeking to expand their influence.

The 290-seat parliament vote will have scant impact on Iran’s foreign policy, in which Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say, but could strengthen Rouhani’s hand before next year’s presidential vote. The 88-member Assembly will select Khamenei’s successor. Both bodies are currently in the hands of hardliners.

The contest pits supporters of Rouhani, who championed last year’s nuclear deal with world powers and is likely to seek a second presidential term next year, against conservatives deeply opposed to detente with Western powers.

Iranian State TV called Friday a “great day for the nation,” as citizens across the country turned out to vote for the country’s parliament and the Guardian Council, which selects Iran’s Supreme Leader.

The head of Iran’s electoral commission, Mohamed Hossein Moqeemi, told state TV that 55 million people were eligible to vote and that results from thousands of ballot boxes will be tabulated. He said that voting hours could be extended if turnout is heavy.

State TV showed voters across Iran giving their reasons for their choices. A man with a young child said he was “voting for his children’s future,” while an older woman said she wanted to “foil Iran’s enemies, who are plotting against the country.”

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