Iranian parliamentary battle begins

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Iranian parliamentary battle begins

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Campaigning has started in Iran for a general election that is turning into a battle between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for control of parliament.

With the country’s economy in tatters, and many of his first-choice candidates banned, Ahmadinejad is expected to come out of it worse off.

Key to the election will be voter turnout. The country seems divided between those who see no point in voting and those who believe it is still their duty to do so.

Reformists are not among the 3,400 candidates standing. They are boycotting the March 2 ballot and calling for voters to stay away.

Their main leaders, Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, have been under house arrest for a year.