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World

AFP
February 23, 2020

Iran sees lowest voter turnout in general election since 1979

World

AFP
Sun, Feb 23, 2020
Jewish Iranian women register at a polling station in the capital Tehran on February 21, 2020. Electoral authorities in Iran extended voting for two hours in the Islamic republic´s parliamentary election on Friday, state television reported. Photo: AFP

TEHRAN: Iran registered its lowest voter turnout in the country's parliamentary elections since the Islamic reveloution as the interior minister said on Sunday that 42.6% of eligible voters hit the polling booths.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said the participation rate was "acceptable" for Iran after it experienced bad weather, an air disaster, a coronavirus outbreak and other incidents in the lead-up to Friday's election.

It was the lowest turnout in a general election since the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah.

Experts had predicted a low turnout after poll authorities barred roughly half the 16,000-odd candidates — mostly reformists and moderates — from contesting for a seat.

Conservatives look set for a landslide win in the 290-seat parliament.

If the conservatives' resurgence is confirmed, it will mean President Hassan Rouhani's slender majority of reformists and moderates elected four years ago is nearly purged.

The moderates have been weakened by the US pullout from a landmark nuclear deal in 2018 and the imposition of fresh sanctions.