Iran election: 'Victory' for allies of reformist Rouhani

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By Euronews
Iran election: 'Victory' for allies of reformist Rouhani

Moderate and centrist allies of Iran’s reformist President Hassan Rouhani have won the second round of parliamentary elections, taking more than 30 of the 68 seats up for grabs, according to unofficial, partial results reported by local media.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are credited with just over 20 seats.

If the trend is confirmed, it would be a further vote of confidence in Rouhani after big reformist gains in February’s first round of polling. The current parliament is dominated by hardline allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

People voted on Friday on 68 undecided seats in constituencies where candidates failed to get 25 percent of votes cast in the first round.

This is the electorate’s chance to give its verdict on Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers that has seen international sanctions lifted.

The new 290-member assembly will begin its session on May 27.

It has no direct control over major policy matters but it can back the policies of Rouhani to bolster the economy.

Western countries have been lining up to carve out a place for themselves in Iran after the lifting of sanctions in January in exchange for curbs to the Iranian nuclear programme.

Earlier this month, Italy and Iran signed an agreement during a two-day visit by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with a delegation of business leaders to increase trade between Italy and Iran and reinforce industrial cooperation.