TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Islamic hard-liners consolidated their control on Iran’s parliament by winning more than half of the 57 parliamentary seats left unfilled since general elections in February, according to results announced Saturday.
The results from polls in about 40 cities will not alter the political balance of the 290-seat legislature, where hard-liners secured at least 160 seats in February.
Many regarded the general elections as being tilted in favor of conservatives after more than 2,400 liberal candidates were barred, prompting a boycott by most reformist parties.
State-run radio reported that conservative candidates won 37 seats in elections held Friday, while reformists won eight and independents secured 12.
About 114 candidates contested the 57 seats where no candidate had received more than half the votes cast in February. Only the two top scorers from February’s polls were allowed to run Friday.
The outgoing parliament, where reformists were in the majority, ends its term next month.
Official statistics showed that just above 50 percent of eligible voters participated in February, one of the lowest turnouts in Iranian history. The turnout in the capital Tehran was about 30 percent.
Reformist President Mohammad Khatami said his government had been forced to hold an election that was neither fair nor free.