Who wins parliamentary elections in Iran?
Trend Persian Desk commentator Temkin Jafarov
The first phase of the parliamentary elections of the IX convocation has been completed in Iran. Despite 65 of 290 parliamentary seats left for the second term, the majority of parliamentary seats was gained by the coalition "United Front of Conservatives", representing the camp of supporters of Iranian supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to the results of the first round.
One of the main contenders of "United Front of Conservatives", headed by Chairman of the Iranian Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani, was "Front of Stability of the Islamic Revolution", consisting of persons released from their posts during Ahmadinejad's reign. The candidates of this coalition gained fewer seats in the parliament than independent candidates. But the most remarkable aspect is the failure of Ahmadinejad's supporters.
Before the elections, the Supervisory Board, approving the candidates' authority in Iran, has not confirmed the candidacy of Ahmadinejad's some supporters. According to the information of some Iranian media, the number of Ahmadinejad's supporters, whose candidates were not confirmed, reaches up to 600. Moreover, even Ahmadinejad's sister Parvin Ahmadinejad, who participated in the elections, failed to gain the votes in her native city of Ramsar.
The election results show that Ahmadinejad's supporters this time represent the minority in the parliament. This shows a decrease in the authority of the current government and that they will conduct a weaker competition during the next presidential elections.
Another remarkable point is the failure of the representatives criticizing the authorities in the Parliament. Members of the Energy Commission, including Hamid Reza Katouzian, Emad Hosseini, Siruz Sazdar and others failed to win in the first round of elections.
Other MP critics, including the head of the Research Center of the Parliament Ahmed Tavakkul, MPs Ali Mutahhari and Mustafa Kevakibian remained for the second round.
A majority of seats was gained by Ayatollah Khamenei's supporters in the next parliament. This increased the political influence of the Iranian religious leader in the country. Thus, Khamenei's supporters are likely to be able to quietly lead their candidates to power in the presidential elections in 2013.