UPDATE: 5:53 a.m. EDT — A report by Iran’s Fars news agency said the coalition formed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won 33 of the total 68 seats contested in the second round runoff parliamentary elections, while the conservatives won 21 seats, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The AFP report also noted that if confirmed, this would give reformists 128 seats in the 290-member parliament, just 18 shy of a majority but more than the 124 seats grabbed by the rivals. The remaining seats would go to independent candidates.
The AFP report also said that preliminary results showed 17 women were also elected, eight more than the number at present and the highest ever since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
A report by conservative Tasnim news agency, also cited by AFP, said that Rouhani's allies won 35 seats in the second round.
The reformist and moderate political leaders associated with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appeared to be doing well in the second round of parliamentary elections conducted Friday, unofficial results showed Saturday. Although state-run media reported the moderate-reformist bloc won over 30 of 68 seats in the runoff, it needs to win at least 40 seats to win an outright majority in the 290-seat legislature.
So far, state TV has announced the winners of 60 of the 68 seats being contested, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Among those, 32 were won by moderate-reformist candidates while the remaining seats were divided between hard-liners and independent candidates. The final results of the election are expected later Saturday.
The moderate-reformist bloc supports a nuclear deal the country signed with world powers last summer that led to the lifting of sanctions.
In the first round of elections in February, Rouhani and his moderate allies won all 30 parliamentary seats in Tehran. However, the reformists are believed to wield lesser influence in the areas outside Tehran that voted in the second round of elections Friday.
A Reuters report said if the results being reported by Iranian state TV become final, then neither the conservatives nor the moderates would have a majority in the next government. In that case, independent candidates are expected to determine the fate of the country’s administration.
Currently, conservatives dominate the Iranian parliament, formally called the Islamic Consultative Assembly.