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Iran reports record low turnout for general election

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Iran’s interior minister said on Sunday that 42.6 percent of eligible voters turned out for the country’s parliamentary election, a record low in such polls since the Islamic revolution.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said the participation rate was “acceptable” for Iran after it experienced bad weather, an air disaster, a coronavirus outbreak and other incidents in the lead-up to Friday’s election.

It was the lowest turnout in a general election since the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah.

Experts had predicted a low turnout after poll authorities barred roughly half the 16,000-odd candidates — mostly reformists and moderates — from contesting for a seat.

Conservatives look set for a landslide win in the 290-seat parliament.

If the conservatives’ resurgence is confirmed, it will mean President Hassan Rouhani’s slender majority of reformists and moderates elected four years ago is nearly purged.

The moderates have been weakened by the US pullout from a landmark nuclear deal in 2018 and the imposition of fresh sanctions.

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