Iranians Go to the Polls for Parliamentary Elections: Important Test for the Regime
In Iran, the polling stations are open to the parliamentary elections. It looks like the hardliners will make it easy. Most moderate candidates have been removed from the electoral lists.
They are the first parliamentary elections since the United States promulgated new sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.
More than 7,000 candidates are there to fill the 290 seats in parliament. The parliament, or the Majlis, has only partial competence in the Iranian administration, which is a mix of democracy and religious – read Shiite – government.
Ultimately, the last word is always up to the highest spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has, in essence, more power over essential decisions than parliament and than moderate President Rouhani.
Besides, the so-called Guardian Council, loyal to Khamenei, has more than 16,000 candidates on the eve of the elections, including the 90 moderate members of parliament. Usually, they are moderate candidates. The options for pro-reform voters in Iran are inferior.