Iran is expected to announce initial results of parliament elections Saturday night and final tally of the polls in three days, officials said Saturday. The country’s Interior Ministry said that turnout in Friday’s parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections was more than 60 percent.
Friday’s voting comes a month after world powers lifted sanctions against the country under a nuclear deal, which has yet to deliver its promised benefits, as the country is in recession. At least 33 million of Iran’s 55 million eligible voters participated in the polls, Interior Ministry spokesman Hossein-Ali Amiri reportedly said. At least 21 people will compete for each seat in the legislature and the elected candidates are expected to serve from May 3 for a four-year term.
According to the Associated Press, reformist candidates were performing well — the first time in more than a decade in parliamentary elections. A strong reformist performance would be a boost for moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who played a key role in the nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other world despite bitter disagreement from hardliners in Iran, AP reported.
The first results are likely to come from the provinces, but the vote tally in Tehran will take around three days, Agence France-Presse reported. The capital has a population of 12 million and is electing 30 lawmakers. Participation in parliamentary elections four years ago was 64 percent across the country and 48 percent in Tehran, according to AFP. The Islamic Republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was among the first to vote in this year’s twin elections.
A second round of elections will be conducted in several of cities where candidates received less than 25 percent of votes, Amiri said, according to reports. Final results must be reportedly established by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council.
"The run-off for some seats will be held in late [Iranian month of] Farvardin or early Ordibehesht [late April]," Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said, according to Reuters. "Also early results for Tehran will be announced tonight but the final result might take longer to be announced," he added.