Blow for hardliners in Iran elections

Mar 01, 2016, 08:51 IST | Agencies

Tehran: Iran’s moderates have dealt another blow to the country’s hard-liners, winning the majority of seats in last week’s vote for the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body empowered with choosing the nation’s supreme leader.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Pic/AFP
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Pic/AFP

Top moderates President Hassan Rouhani and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani both won seats in the assembly, along with 50 other of their allies. The vote for the 88-member Assembly of Experts was held at the same time as the country’s parliament elections.

According to Iran’s Interior Ministry moderates won 59 per cent of the seats in the body. And though it’s seen as a historic win for the moderates, several prominent hard-liners, including Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati have also been re-elected.

The most surprising was the loss of seats on the clerical assembly for some prominent hard-liners, including Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the current Experts Assembly chief who was not re-elected.

The committee role is to o pick a successor to Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It also can directly challenge Khamenei’s rule.

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