The victory of hardliners in the parliamentary contest was engineered. But Donald Trump’s choices have destroyed faith in the promises of moderates
Iran’s election on Friday was a blow to moderates, a disappointment for conservative rulers and bad news for the region too. The result was largely ordained before anyone could cast a ballot. Hardliners appear to have swept the parliamentary contest – taking all 30 seats in Tehran – because the authorities ensured that they would. The Guardian Council, which is loosely under the control of the supreme leader, had disqualified around half of the thousands of candidates for the 290-seat body, including 90 serving members. While parliament’s powers are limited, it can impede the president and shape the political environment; with a presidential race due next year, the result sets a course for conservative control of every branch of government – as seen during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s grim tenure.
Yet the outcome of Friday’s poll was far from the endorsement sought. Despite the supreme leader’s exhortations to vote, the extension of polling hours and the anger engendered by the US assassination of Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds force, a usually active electorate stayed away. Turnout stood at just 42.5%, the first time it has dipped below 50% since the 1979 revolution; in Tehran it was just 25%.
Read more: theguardian.com