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Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 12:27 GMT
Iran parliament meets after election shock

Only about 20% of the MPs were re-elected

The outgoing Iranian parliament has met for one of its last sessions after Friday's elections, which delivered a sweeping victory for the reformists and put an end to the long-standing conservative domination of the assembly.

Only about 20% of members have won re-election, and conservatives have admitted that they will have to reconsider their policies in the face of their resounding defeat.

poster Life is going back to normal in Iran after the elections
The new assembly, or Majlis, will contain far fewer clerics and will also be about 15 or 20 years younger - a reflection of the new generation of voters making itself heard.

The parliament's outgoing Speaker, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri, who did not stand for re-election, told the chamber that those who had not been returned should take comfort from the massive turn-out in the election.

More than 80% of voters turned out and Mr Nateq-Nuri said it represented a triumph of the Iranian people, the Islamic revolution and the system.

We will not change our principles and positions, but it is natural that we should reconsider our policies and methods
Mohammad Reza Bahonar
A top hardline lawmaker in the outgoing parliament, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, said his camp would have to rethink its policies.

"We will not change our principles and positions, but it is natural that we should reconsider our policies and methods," he said.

The independent Iran Vij daily newspaper quoted him as saying that the reformist coalition was "more organised" in the elections.

"Anyway, our rivals will form a majority in the next Majlis," Mr Bahonar said.

Mr Bahonar played a key role in the 1998 impeachment of former interior minister Abdollah Nouri, an ally of reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

Rafsanjani Mr Rafsanjani is being blamed for the conservative failure
Nouri was jailed in November on charges of religious dissent and for advocating better ties with the United States.

Nearly all the best-known faces of the majority conservative faction did not survive the election.

Another major casualty was Faeza Hashemi, the reformist daughter of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani.

In the last elections four years ago she came in second in the voting for seats in Tehran, but is now down to 56th place.

Correspondents say her downfall may have been her close association with her father.

Mr Rafsanjani's failure to secure one of 30 Tehran seats in the first round, is one of the dramatic results of the election. Mr Rafsanjani now faces a run-off for the four seats left in the capital.

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See also:
21 Feb 00 |  Media reports
Print media triumphs in Iranian elections
21 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Reformist prisoner released on leave
21 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Analysis: Obstacles to change
21 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Iran's hardliners at crossroads
22 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Iran vote welcomed

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