Friday, February 26, 2016

Crucial Iran elections begin

Fateful elections are taking place in Iran on Friday, as nearly 55 million citizens out of a total of 81 million select new members of parliament as well as clerics for the Assembly of Experts.

The vote, which began at 8 a.m. local time and is to continue till 6 p.m. unless it is extended due to heavy turnout, is seen as a referendum on the nuclear deal pressed by President Hassan Rouhani. In the election his allies will try to gain control of the Majlis parliament from "hardliners" who opposed the deal, with results likely to effect Rouhani's shot at re-election in 2017.

Aside from the 290 MPs being picked for four-year terms, 88 clerics will be chosen by the public for the Assembly of Experts, where members serve eight-year terms and can choose or dismiss the supreme leader. (READ MORE)