Iran: Conservatives secure majority in parliament as Ahmadinejad criticized
Conservatives consolidated their control of Iran's parliament in run-off elections, according to partial results announced Saturday by state media. Of 82 seats included in Friday's run-off, there were final results for 56, said Iranian state television and the official news agency IRNA.
Supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won 12 seats, his conservative critics seven, reformists 12 and independents 25, according to partial results provided by state media. Conservatives also looked well-placed to pick up 10 seats and reformists one in the capital Tehran.
Conservatives won 132 seats in the first round of voting in March, meaning they would maintain a majority in the 290-seat parliament after the run-off elections.
Turnout for Friday's run-off in Tehran appeared to be low.
Meanwhile, Iran's judiciary chief has become the latest figure to criticise Ahmadinejad for his attacks on opponents, accusing him of "exaggeration and sloganeering," reports said on Saturday. The remarks by Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi come after Ahmadinejad launched a bitter attack on his rivals, accusing them of forming mafias of political and economic corruption.
The president's accusations, made in a speech in the city of Qom, unleashed new controversy and the heads of two judiciary bodies have already denounced his comments as lacking any factual basis. "Fighting economic corruption is a fundamental factor in making society healthy," said Shahroudi, in comments reported by much of the Iranian press including the Tehran daily Hamshahri.
"But if instead of using legitimate procedures one falls into exaggeration, unrealistic campaigning and sloganeering, then this fundamental factor will be forgotten," he said, in a reference to Ahmadinejad's words. "And therefore it becomes an instrument to be used to sideline rivals."