Polling ends after Iran parliamentary vote

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Polling ends after Iran parliamentary vote

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Iranians headed to more than 47,000 polling stations on Friday for the first parliamentary elections since the disputed 2009 Presidential vote.

Commentators said the contest became a race between the followers of conservative hardliners Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Two key opposition leaders remained under house arrest and scores of candidates from the Green Movement were barred from taking part.

A website supportive of the Green Movement called on Iranians to boycott the vote, asking them to show solidarity with those prevented from participating.

“In my opinion, the turnout will be considerably lower than previous elections,” said Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, an adviser to Mir Hossein Mousavi, one of the main 2009 presidential challengers who’s under house arrest. “However, officials have decided that this vote will be a successful one.
So I think we can expect the official turnout figures to be higher than in previous elections.”

Official results are expected on Sunday or Monday.