Author: Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) Posted March 7, 2012
The outcomes of the Iranian parliamentary elections held on March 2 could have a drastic impact on its domestic and foreign politics, especially given the critical situation currently unfolding in the Islamic Republic.
If anything, the turnout indicated that the conservative bloc has failed to coordinate with the other movements in order to gain some ground in the electoral competition. It also reflected the divergence of views within the different mainstreams of this bloc over the government's program and President [Mahmud] Ahmadinejad. Moreover, Iranian voters seemed to have different views on the positions of the candidates towards the key issues, specifically regarding Ahmadinejad's government. According to Al-Mashreq website, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, these elections spelled the end of the era of Ahmadinejad, especially given that Parvin Ahmadinejad, the President's sister, was defeated in their hometown of Garmsar.
While Iranian voters previously voted in favor of Ahmadinejad's government [in the disputed presidential election of 2009], the turnout of the current elections has proven that the Iranian people reject the president and his government, which have failed to address the many problems facing the country.
However, it is still difficult to predict the composition of the new parliament, since the winners of the second round [of voting] have yet to be determined. Candidates [running in the second round] will make up half of the 290-seat parliament. It should also be noted that a number of candidates are independent and do not belong to any electoral list. This is especially the case in [outlying] provinces, villages and rural areas. Thus, their political leanings are still undefined. Will these free candidates join the ranks of the government or those of the opposition? This question is especially [relevant] in light of the victory of the "United Front of Fundamentalists" sponsored by the clerical community and the association of teachers in the religious center of learning at Qom. It is still uncertain whether the list of the "Front for the Integrity of the Islamic Revolution", overseen by [Ayatollah] Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, the radical cleric, will include independent winners from the provinces and small towns or not.
The remaining issue is the premiership of the new Parliament. In fact, [this post may be occupied by] the former Prime Minister Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, who led the list of the "United Front of Fundamentalists" and came in first in [his race] in the first round of voting in the capital, Tehran. [Another possibility] is the current Speaker of the House, Ali Larijani, from the city of Qom, who also came in first [in his race]. Morteza Agha Tehrani, who led the list of "Front for the Integrity of the Islamic Revolution,” and came in fourth in the capital, Tehran, may compete with them [for the premiership]. In fact, his candidacy depends on the composition of the parliament and whether Agha Tehrani proves capable of competing with the two strong figures of Haddad Adel and Larijani.
Moreover, sources believe that the premiership of the council will be limited to candidates nominated by the regime and who will also compete in the presidential elections in 2013. Neither Haddad Adel nor Ali Larijani will be nominated for these elections.
Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/03/is-ahmadinejads-era-over.html