Iran: Opposition questions validity of election

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Iran: Opposition questions validity of election

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Polling stations have opened in Iran’s parliamentary election with voters divided over whether to take part or not.

The two main opposition groups are not fielding candidates and their respective leaders are under house arrest.

In the absence of reformists, the vote comes down to a contest between conservatives.

Many younger voters say they will abstain.

“In this round of elections, the competition is obviously within one political faction,” said Social Science professor Dr Hassan Hashemiyan. “Other political groups such as the reformists, the liberals or traditional leftists are no longer present. Therefore the competition is across one political spectrum.”

Iran’s pro-regime hardliners have effectively crushed the opposition.

Under Iranian law candidates and their supporters have only one week to campaign.

This is the first major poll since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.