Iran General NewsIran parliamentary elections set for March 2012

Iran parliamentary elections set for March 2012

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AFP: Iranians will go to the polls in March 2012 to elect deputies to a four-year tenure in the parliament, the interior minister told the state broadcaster on Sunday.

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranians will go to the polls in March 2012 to elect deputies to a four-year tenure in the parliament, the interior minister told the state broadcaster on Sunday.

“The election for the majlis (parliament) will be held on Friday the 12th of Esfand (March 2),” said Mostafa Mohammad Najjar.

Speaker Ali Larijani currently presides over the conservative-dominated, 290-seat legislative body. He has repeatedly criticised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies, especially on the economy.

There are around 60 reformist deputies in the house.

Iran’s electoral watchdog, the Guardians Council, will vet registered candidates and must also endorse the final results.

Iran’s last presidential election, held in June 2009, saw hardliner Ahmadinejad re-elected, but opposition leaders said the vote was rigged and called mass protests.

Dozens of people were killed in the protests that followed the election. Thousands were arrested initially, most were released later, but scores of reformist leaders were sentenced to hefty jail terms.

Opposition leaders former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who presided over a reformist-dominated majlis, have been under house arrest since mid-February following a demonstration that was attended by several thousand people on February 14.

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