Iran Parliamentary elections, Ali Hosseini Khamenei cast his ballot among the first

Parliamentary elections are being held in Iran today, and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (84) was one of the first voters.

Source: Tanjug
Tanjug/AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
Tanjug/AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Khamenei called on citizens to vote as soon as possible, stating that, as he said, "both friends and enemies of Iran are watching the turnout," reports Arab News. "Make your friends happy and make your enemies hopeless," Khamenei added.

Preliminary results of the Iranian elections are expected on Saturday.

The election is expected to be a test of the religious leadership's popularity, amid growing discontent over the political, social and economic crisis, according to Reuters.

The agency adds that the vote will be the first measure of Iranian support for Khamenei after anti-government protests in 2022 and 2023, which led to the biggest unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Along with the parliamentary elections, 88 members of the religious body called the Assembly of Experts will be elected, whose task is to appoint or dismiss the supreme leader.

The largest hardline group, made up of former members of the elite Revolutionary Guards and the affiliated Basij militia, as well as other politicians loyal to Supreme Leader Khamenei, is expected to retain a majority in parliament.

It also includes the Devotees and Path-seekers of the Islamic Revolution, the Stability Front of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Coalition Party and the Association of Combatant Clergy.

A record number of more than 15,000 parliamentary election candidates passed the Guardian Council's scrutiny, nearly 75 percent of the total number of candidates who initially registered for the election, Iran's Interior Ministry said.

The council is a hard-line body of clerics and lawyers who assess adherence to Islam, belief in the system of religious laws and the Islamic Republic, according to Reuters.
Former President Hassan Rouhani was banned from running by the Guardian Council.

The reformists, banned from politics after contesting the hardline president's re-election in 2009, have not endorsed any list of candidates for parliament.

Pro-reform candidates, who demand gradual change in the Islamic Republic, faced disqualification in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

After years of unsuccessful attempts to increase political and social freedoms, their agenda was rejected by protesters as inadequate in 2022.


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