Iranians Vote In Parliamentary Election, After 1 Week Of Campaigning

More than 15,000 people had sought to run for one of the 290 seats in Iran's parliament, but the government disqualified thousands — many of them reformist or moderate candidates — last month.

2/22/2020 5:21:00 AM

More than 15,000 people had sought to run for one of the 290 seats in Iran's parliament, but the government disqualified thousands last month. Many of those disqualified were reformist or moderate candidates.

More than 15,000 people had sought to run for one of the 290 seats in Iran's parliament, but the government disqualified thousands — many of them reformist or moderate candidates — last month.

People hand in their ID cards and receive voting papers at the Hoseyniyeh Ershad building in Tehran. Iran is holding important national elections Friday, choosing members of its parliament as well as its Assembly of Experts.Marjan Yazdi for NPRtoggle caption

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Marjan Yazdi for NPRPeople hand in their ID cards and receive voting papers at the Hoseyniyeh Ershad building in Tehran. Iran is holding important national elections Friday, choosing members of its parliament as well as its Assembly of Experts.Marjan Yazdi for NPR

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

More than 15,000 would-be candidates had sought to win a four-year term in parliament, officially called the Islamic Consultative Assembly, or Majlis. But the powerful Guardian Council, which vets all candidates, has disqualified thousands of people from running. Many of those who were culled were reformist or moderate candidates. Dozens of them are current members of parliament who are now barred from seeking reelection.

That left more than 7,000 candidates standing for election to Iran's 290-seat parliament."This weeding out on ideological terms is quite frustrating for Iranian voters here in the capital, especially," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Tehran."They've long wanted parliament to follow more moderate policies, both at home and abroad."

The lists of candidates are placed on a board in the middle of Hoseyniye Ershad, one of the main voting locations in Tehran. More than 7,000 candidates are hoping to win spots in Iran's 290-seat parliament.Marjan Yazdi for NPRtoggle captionMarjan Yazdi for NPR

The lists of candidates are placed on a board in the middle of Hoseyniye Ershad, one of the main voting locations in Tehran. More than 7,000 candidates are hoping to win spots in Iran's 290-seat parliament.Marjan Yazdi for NPRKenyon spoke to young Iranians who said they don't plan to vote because they don't believe the candidates would do anything to improve the lives of regular people.

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"Unfortunately not," a 25-year-old man named Qassem told Kenyon outside a café."Because I don't see any future in these elections. So because of that, I won't go."In previous parliamentary elections, Iran's Guardian Council has rejected between 15% and 50% of the candidates who registered, Iran's government-backed

Press TV reports. But it adds that"this year's purge is probably the biggest since the Islamic Revolution in 1979."Iran's reformers want the country to have a more open society and allow its citizens to have more freedom of expression — and even dissent, Kenyon says.

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Q&A: Under sanctions and economic crisis, Iranians go to voteHardliners in Iran always prosper within a context of antagonism and conflict, especially if it emanates from the outside Q&A | Adib_Moghaddam The reformist, in particular, have failed to absorb and articulate the demands of their supporters, exactly because they lack leadership and/or political acumen. “pragmatism translated into apathy, inaction, and in the final view of most Iranians: Betrayal of their demands.” “we have been closing our eyes to an economic terror campaign that is killing Iran’s most vulnerable members of society, and we have tolerated unlawful killings. We can’t expect that peace and love will flourish, when we have become part of a policy of antagonism and betrayal.”

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