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Sunday, 16 April, 2000, 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK
Recount ordered in Tehran
A recount was ordered for a number of ballot boxes
By Jim Muir in Tehran

Another recount has been ordered on some of the returns from the Tehran constituency following the general elections in Iran two months ago.

There are 30 seats at stake in Tehran and regardless of the outcome of the recount, it is clear that reformists have taken virtually all of them.

The recount comes after a long period of tense stand-off between conservatives and reformists.

Past recounts

The fate of the election results for the crucial Tehran constituency has become almost a joke as far as many Iranians are concerned.

President Khatami
President Khatami's reformists scored a massive victory in the elections
After the election itself back in February, the initial counting took an inordinately long time.

Then a partial recount was ordered and then another which was abandoned halfway through for reasons which remain obscure.

Then there was a lengthy pause during which there was much sniping and recrimination between the two major political factions, the reformists and the conservatives.

There were also overt signs of friction between the two official bodies in charge of running and supervising the elections.

The Interior Ministry is generally sympathetic to the reformists and the Council of Guardians, a constitutional body, is dominated by the right-wing.

Council's order

Now the Council of Guardians has finally ordained that there should be yet another recount of an unspecified number of ballot boxes whose returns were the subject of dispute between the three candidates who came in the 29th, 30th and 31st positions.

Former president Mr Rafsanjani has the support of conservatives
That meant that they either narrowly won, or narrowly lost one of the 30 Tehran seats.

At stake is the parliamentary future of the man who was twice President and twice speaker of parliament before, Hashimi Rafsanjani.

He was top of the electoral lists of the right-wing factions but came in number 30 in the polls, symbolising the defeat the conservatives suffered.

The delay in the Council of Guardians validating the Tehran results had prompted many conspiracy theories on the part of suspicious reformists as, indeed, did the council's decision to invalidate the results of at least seven other constituencies in a way which displaced reformist winners.

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07 Apr 00 | Middle East
Iranians riot after vote annulled
11 Mar 00 | Middle East
Reformist victories cancelled in Iran
01 Mar 00 | Middle East
Recount ordered of Tehran votes
26 Feb 00 | Media reports
Iranian media reviews election results
23 Feb 00 | Middle East
Iran's unique election
26 Feb 00 | Middle East
Rafsanjani scrapes in
21 Feb 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Obstacles to change
22 Feb 00 | Middle East
Iran vote welcomed
02 Feb 00 | Iran election news
Iran elections: Special report
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