Iran election turnout at 58%: govt

Iranian clergymen vote in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Iranians across the Islamic Republic voted Friday in the country's first election since its landmark nuclear deal with world powers, deciding whether to further empower its moderate president or side with hard-liners long suspicious of the West. The election for Iran's parliament and a clerical body known as the Assembly of Experts hinges on both the policies of President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Iranians worries about the country's economy, long battered by international sanctions. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Tehran, About 58 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in Iranian parliamentary elections, the government says.

The elections are being viewed as a three-way clash between conservative, hardline and reformist candidates.

About 32 million out of 55 million eligible voters took part in Friday’s election, according to the Interior Ministry.

The ministry had announced several extensions to voting times in some areas – in certain cases to just before midnight – in order to allow more people to participate, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

More than 4800 candidates were running for 290 seats in parliament.

Many observers have seen the election as a referendum for or against President Hassan Rouhani’s reformist policies.

Interior Ministry spokesman Hussein-Ali Amiri warned against any speculation as to the results, after some local media outlets reported that the reformist camp was in the lead.

Results from some smaller towns and cities are expected on Saturday, but counting may take longer in the capital Tehran and other larger cities, IRNA reported.

Iranian news outlet Kaleme reported that prominent opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife took part in the election for the first time since they were placed under house arrest in 2011. It also said political prisoners had been allowed to vote.

Iran’s relations to the United States and its allies have steadily grown closer under Rouhani since a nuclear accord with major powers in July and the president’s subsequent visit to Europe in January.

Source- SBS

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