Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Who won? We don't know

We can assume that ballots in the unreported electoral districts are being "rectified" as we wait for results from rural a areas of Iran. And the second round elections offer fresh opportunities to adjust totals.

Doubts Rise in Iran on Conclusive Election Results
Five days after national elections in Iran, the Interior Ministry has yet to release official results, and some analysts are beginning to doubt that it ever will.

While the government and its supporters clearly won a sweeping victory in the capital, the picture in the rest of the country is much more diffuse and may remain that way for some time, if not permanently.

Iran’s Interior Ministry, which is overseeing the voting for the 290-seat Parliament and the clerical Assembly of Experts, announced on Tuesday the names of 222 parliamentary candidates who won nationwide. It also announced that there would be a second round of voting for 68 seats in several constituencies in April.

A consensus seems to be developing — based on the most credible news media efforts at a tabulation — that the reformist-moderate combination seems to have secured 80 to 90 seats in the Majlis, or Parliament. The hard-liners seem to have won a similar number. Around 60 seats have gone to independents, and the rest will be determined in the second round of voting.

The problem is that there are no parties in Iran, only individual candidates and temporary, loose alliances…

“In the end, all the members of the Parliament are free to choose their own positions,” said Farshad Ghorbanpour, a political analyst close to the hard-liners. “We expect most of our supporters to help the government, at least on economical issues.”

What seems likely is that the new Parliament will find itself without a dominant faction, a rarity in the Islamic Republic. Analysts expect that even the second round will not bring a majority to any of the groups. This could lead to gridlock, experts say, because under Iran’s Constitution, laws need a two-thirds majority for passage…

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