Ahmadinejad’s rivals lead in polls, president’s sister out

Posted on March 3, 2012

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Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his sister Parvin

The conservative rivals of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are leading in the parliamentary elections in Iran, while the president’s sister failed to win a seat in the Garmsar district, dpa reported referring to local media.

According to initial results, the conservatives, who call themselves the Principalists due to their loyalty to the Islamic establishment, are leading the polls as expected. The conservatives are expected to secure the majority of the 290 seats, including the politically important 30 seats in the capital Tehran.

Parvin Ahmadinejad, the president’s sister, failed in her bid to win the seat in the president’s hometown of Garmsar.

The main race in the parliamentary polls was between the older, conservative political generation led by parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who ran for the district of Qom, and the new generation close to President Ahmadinejad. Larijani is also expected to run in next year’s presidential election.

The probable conservative win will strengthen the power of the clergy, but will have no impact on the country’s foreign policy – including its alleged nuclear weapons programme – on which, according to the constitution, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say.

The results will however have a political impact on Ahmadinejad. The polls were the first national test after his disputed re-election in 2009 and will reflect the country’s attitude towards his policies.

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