General election held today
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) has reported that the ‘Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his vote for the 9th parliamentary elections Friday morning’
Notably the news agency does not report if President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad had cast his vote. There has been a falling out between the president and supreme leader since the last presidential election in 2009. Many of Ahmedinejad’s supporters have complained that they were barred from standing. The Green movement, the main opposition movement has boycotted the polls, leaving the battle to take place between conservatives and ultra-conservatives.
Whatever the result, the policies of the country are unlikely to be affected and the reaction from the western nations will remain equally defiant.
In total, there will be 3,444 approved candidates standing out of an original list of 5,395 applications. All candidates are vetted by the Guardian Council which is made up of six clerics and six jurists. Those deemed unsuitable are rejected including, this time, many of President Ahmedinejad’s supporters.
The National Consultative Assembly of Iran has 310 seats up from 290 in 2008. There are 48,288,799 voters according to the IRNA press release, with people voting at 46,924 polling stations.
Polling takes place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time. A high turnout will be seen as support for the supreme leader, anything less than a convincing turnout will suggest that the opposition liberal movement has support in the country.