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Iran Election Round-Up: Khomeini Granddaughter Slams Hard-Liners; Larijani Running in Qom, ...

Photos by Syma Sayyah


Iran to choose new parliament in muted election - After a week of lackluster campaigning, 44 million eligible voters can choose from two conservative factions and one reformist group to represent them in the 290-seat assembly. Campaigning was banned on Thursday for the final day before the elections, which are expected to see conservatives tighten their grip on the chamber in the absence of a full-strength reformist challenge. -AFP

Iran clerical city set for famous conservative as MP - DIran's holy city of Qom, a place of seminary schools and turbaned clerics, is set to elect a heavyweight Iranian conservative to the next Iranian parliament -- former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. The bearded non-cleric last summer stepped down as Iran's top nuclear negotiator, admitting that policy differences between himself and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were so great they could no longer work together. -AFP

Reformists to sit out Iranian poll - The reformists have not found a way to fight back against a system that now seems stacked against them. Many of their supporters will simply not go out and vote in the parliamentary elections on Friday. In fact, here in the smart suburbs of North Tehran it's hard to find anyone who is going to vote. -BBC

Iran's president wins only accolades in home town - Don't come to the sleepy market town where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born and expect to hear him criticized for his handling of the nuclear issue, the economy, or anything else really. Just ahead of Friday's parliamentary election, voters in Aradan admit they are troubled by inflation, rising housing costs and unemployment, but few blame the president. -Reuters

Iran poll to offer no sure verdict on Ahmadinejad - Iran's parliamentary polls on Friday may reinforce President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chances of winning a second term next year, but even if his hardline supporters do badly, it is too early to write him off. After a week of lackluster campaigning, 44 million eligible voters can choose from two conservative factions and one reformist group to represent them in the 290-seat assembly. -Reuters

Khomeini Granddaughter Slams Hard-Liners - She is a granddaughter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the 1979 Islamic revolution, but Zahra Eshraghi has long been a leader of reformers seeking to liberalize Iran. She sees dark days for the country, at least in the short run, given the hard-liners' lock on power. To break that hold, she says, former reformist President Mohammad Khatami must run against hard-line leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad next year. -AP

Iran's first-time voters split - With more than 60% of the Iranian population under the age of 30, young people will have a big influence on the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Even though the minimum voting age was raised this year from 15 to 18, a lot of people will be voting for the first time. -BBC

Supreme leader insists Iran vote fair - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said the United States and its allies were behind criticism that upcoming parliament elections will be unfair. The Ayatollah, who is Iran's top authority on all state and religious matters, said Iranians on Friday should elect those who are firm in their opposition of the United States and in their loyalty to Iran's Islamic system. -AP

Iran media lean to the right - Most Iranian media outlets appear to have tilted in favour of the conservative camp during the campaign for the country's parliament, the Majlis. -BBC

... Payvand News - 03/13/08 ... --

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