Anti-Ahmadinejad MPs Hold Sway in Iran's Parliament

Anti-Ahmadinejad MPs Hold Sway in Iran's Parliament
Iran's parliament looks certain to be dominated by MPs critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to preliminary election results that also showed a big turnover in lawmakers.

The partial results, from elections held last Friday, accounted for two-thirds of the 290 seats in parliament.

However the composition, given by Iranian media, remained obscure and sometimes contradictory, reflecting the country's complex politics based on individual MPs' alliances rather than formal political parties.

Overall, the new parliament is to be virtually entirely conservative, with the previous 60 reformist MPs winnowed down to a bare handful following the boycott of the main reformist blocs in the elections.

Conservatives opposed to or critical of Ahmadinejad held sway, according to reports.

Two such coalitions, the United Conservatives Front and the Front of Islamic Iran's Resistance, easily took most of the votes in rural areas, where a third of Iran's 75-million strong population lives.

The Front of the Islamic Revolution's Endurance, a rival grouping favourable to Ahmadinejad, was left trailing.

In the Tehran region, where half the ballots had been counted, it looked to be the same story.

The United Conservatives Front picked up 14 seats, while the Islamic Revolution's Endurance took 10. The remaining six seats were still being decided.

Ali Motahari, an MP behind an unprecedented move to have parliament subject Ahmadinejad to questioning, won back his seat, but another 14 candidates from his Voice of the Nation movement were not so fortunate.
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