Reformists win second round in Iranian elections in boost for Rouhani

Iranian elections: Reformist and moderate Iranian politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani have won the second round of the country’s parliamentary elections, preliminary results show.¬†Saturday’s outcome represents a significant realignment of competing factions in the Islamic republic, with conservative MPs losing their dominance and being outnumbered for the first time since 2004.
The result is also an implicit public vote of confidence for Rouhani, who won a landslide election victory in 2013 and went on to clinch a historic deal with world powers over Iran’s nuclear programme that lifted sanctions.
¬†17 women were elected – eight more than at present and the highest female representation since the country’s revolution in 1979.Almost a quarter of parliament’s seats were at stake in runoffs on Friday in what was a showdown between reformists and conservatives seeking to influence the country’s future.
Although Iran’s parliament has marginal powers – under the country’s political system, religious leaders can veto legislation – the result will make economic reforms easier and could also speed up social change demanded by reformists.Their return as a major force is a shake-up for conservatives after an era of diplomatic clashes with the West over a nuclear programme that, before Rouhani, had left Iran under threat of military attack.
Most politicians who opposed the agreement struck last year after years of talks with the US and other leading nations were rejected by voters.

Source: aljazeera