Iran: Hassan Rouhani's allies set for parliament win

State media say reformists and moderates won 128 seats in 290-member assembly in second round of voting.

    Iran: Hassan Rouhani's allies set for parliament win
    Iran's reformists have encouraged foreign investment, support greater diplomatic rapprochement and seek social change [AP]

    Reformist and moderate Iranian politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani have won the most seats in the second round of parliamentary elections, state media have reported.

    Of the 68 legislative seats being contested on Friday, 33 went to the pro-Rouhani List of Hope coalition and 21 to conservatives, according to the Fars news agency.

    That would give reformists 128 seats in the new 290-member parliament, 18 shy of a majority but more than their rivals' 124 MPs. Remaining seats went to independents who could hold the balance of power.

    The outcome, if confirmed officially, would represent a dramatic realignment in the country, with conservative MPs likely being outnumbered by their rivals for the first time since 2004.


    READ MORE: Women make gains in new parliament


    Interest in Iranian art on rise after lifting of sanctions

    It would also be an implicit public vote of confidence for Rouhani, who won a landslide election victory in 2013 and went on to clinch a historic deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme that lifted sanctions.

    Preliminary results also took to 17 the number of women elected - eight more than currently and the highest tally since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

    Although Iran's parliament has marginal powers - under the country's theocratic rule senior clerics can veto legislation - the result could open a delicate path to limited social and cultural change.


    READ MORE: Crucial polls a test for Rouhani


    In stark contrast to the first two-and-a-half years of his presidency the election result should give Rouhani a parliament that supports his government. The outgoing conservative-dominated chamber repeatedly blocked Rouhani and even impeached one of his ministers.

    The president's backers made huge gains in the first round on February 26, but reformists still scored eight fewer seats than conservatives overall.

    Iran's reformists have encouraged foreign investment, support moves for greater diplomatic rapprochement and seek social change and fewer political restrictions at home.

    Will lifting sanctions mean a new era for Iran?

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.