February 29, 2016


Official results: Iranian relative moderates win majority in parliament, clerical body (ALI AKBAR DAREINI February 29, 2016, Times of Israel)

Final results released by the Interior Ministry and broadcast on state TV show that reformists, who favor expanded social freedoms and engagement with the West, and other backers of President Hassan Rouhani, won at least 85 seats. Moderate conservatives -- who split with the hard-line camp and support the nuclear deal -- won 73, giving the two camps together a majority over hard-liners in the 290-seat assembly.

Hard-liners won just 68 seats, down from 112 in the current parliament. Five seats will go to religious minorities, and the remaining 59 will be decided in a runoff, likely to be held in April. [...]

Perhaps the most surprising result of the election was the loss of seats in the Assembly of Experts by two prominent hard-liners: Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the current head of the assembly, and Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, considered the spiritual leader of hard-liners.

Reformists make big gains as Rouhani prepares to bring Tehran in from the cold (Romil Patel, February 29, 2016, IB Times)

In a five-year development plan presented to parliament last month, Rouhani revealed that the government is setting its sights on as much as $50bn (£36bn) a year in investment to push for further growth and more jobs. Tehran is also planning to pump one million barrels of oil per day in a market already flooded by oversupply after it flatly rejected support for a freeze of production.
The economy is likely to be Rouhani's primary focus, rather than radical social reform within Iran. "The goal will probably be to focus on the economics because that's something that delivers to everybody," Momani told Bloomberg's Countdown this morning. "The focus will be to talk about economic reform - part of that is going to include greater foreign direct investment (FDI) [and] allowing more foreign companies to come in."

Iran set to elect record number of women into parliament (Saeed Kamali Dehghan, 29 February 2016, The Guardian)

With reformist-backed candidates securing a sweeping victory in Tehran, and moderates leading in provinces, a record number of women are set to enter the next Iranian parliament. 

Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament. 

Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as "the list of hope".

Posted by at February 29, 2016 1:54 PM