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The BBC's Jim Muir reports from Tehran
"The nationwide pictures of a substantial win for reformists has been confirmed"
 real 28k

Saturday, 6 May, 2000, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Iran reformists win second ballot
Women voters
Women and younger Iranians tend to back reformers
Iranian reformists close to President Mohammad Khatami have won a clear majority of seats in the second round of voting for the new parliament.

They won 52 of the 66 seats in run-off legislative elections, confirming their majority gained in the first round in February.

Second round results
Reformists - 52
Conservatives - 10
Independents - 4
But BBC Tehran correspondent Jim Muir says tension between the reformist and conservative factions is likely to persist until parliament convenes on 27 May.

An official of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, which is run by President Khatami's brother, said it had won 43 seats.

Conservatives won 10 seats, with rest going to independents.

The conservative Council of Guardians, which oversees elections, has to endorse the results before they are binding.

It annulled a dozen reformist victories in the first round, when reformers won 70% of the seats.

If the Council endorses the latest results and 29 first-round reformist victories in Tehran which have yet to be confirmed, reformers will have a clear majority in the 290-seat Majlis.

Man voting with baby
Voting for the future: A man casts his ballot in Karaj, near Tehran
Reformist candidates won three of the four seats in the major urban centre of Tabriz, with the final place taken by an independent.

A reformist candidate won in the big southern city of Shiraz.

In the oil-producing province of Khuzestan, where local people believe oil revenues have not been used to boost the local economy, reformers won all but one of the eight seats contested.

Mohammad-Reza Khatami, head of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, called the results "a clear message to all those people who in the recent months have been resorting to illegal means and seemingly legal pretexts to defeat this promising movement".


Since February, there have been signs of a counter-offensive by hardline forces.

  • A leading reformist figure, Saeed Hajjarian, was shot and seriously wounded by right-wing vigilante extremists.
  • Sixteen reformist publications were shut down on the orders of the largely conservative judiciary in April.
  • Several reformist journalists and other prominent liberals were arrested and jailed.

President Mohamad Khatami
President Khatami has tried to overcome hardline resistance
The former head of the judiciary and leading conservative, Ayatollah Yazdi, announced on Friday that the Tehran results would definitely be declared next Wednesday.

Disputes and recounts have delayed the announcement of the results of 30 seats in the capital.

Even if the parliament were able to convene but lacked the powerful Tehran reformists, the reform movement would be gravely weakened.

This would undermine President Khatami's programme of social and political reforms.

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See also:

21 Feb 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Obstacles to change
28 Apr 00 | Middle East
Iranian president calls for calm
26 Apr 00 | Middle East
How far will Iran's conservatives go?
23 Feb 00 | Middle East
Iran's unique election
07 Apr 00 | Middle East
Iranians riot after vote annulled
11 Mar 00 | Middle East
Reformist victories cancelled in Iran
22 Feb 00 | Middle East
Iran vote welcomed
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