Parliament election campaign starts in Iran
(dpa) - Campaigning for the March 14 parliamentary elections started on Thursday in Iran, with more than 4,400 candidates vying for the 290 seats.
The 30 seats for Tehran are considered the most important ones in measuring the country's political mood, as the voting in the provinces reflects criteria which are more technical than political.
The elections are also a very important test for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after a more than two-and-half-year presidency.
Four main factions are competing in the elections, two from the reformist and two from the conservative camps.
Besides the two reformist camps which oppose the president, one of the conservative camps also rather has a critical stance towards Ahmadinejad, especially his economic policies which in the last 30 months have led to astronomic inflation.
A victory in the parliamentary elections would not only be a comeback for the reformists but also prepare the ground for pushing Ahmadinejad out of office in the 2009 presidential elections.
Some 43.7 million people over the age of 18 are eligible to go to the polls, out of a population of 70 million.
More than 45,000 inspectors have been appointed by the Interior Ministry to supervise the 207 polling stations nationwide.