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Pro-Rouhani candidates take early lead

Reformists and moderate conservatives allied with President Hassan Rouhani have made a strong showing in Iran's parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, and key hard-liners seem to have lost big.
Supporters of Ali Motahari, a candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections, hold his electoral posters during a campaign gathering of candidates mainly close to the reformist camp, in Tehran February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMAATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.   - RTX287FM

As the nationwide results of Iran's parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections roll in, it has become clear that Reformists and moderate conservatives, both of whom have been supportive of President Hassan Rouhani’s policies, have taken an early lead and kept key hard-liners out of office.

All the 30 candidates under the Reformist list for Tehran have been voted into parliament, blocking all the candidates from the conservative list. The top candidate was Reformist leader Mohammad Reza Aref. The second was Ali Motahari, a moderate conservative candidate who was on the Reformist list. In one of its most unusual aspects, the list featured eight female candidates, who have all made it into parliament. The exclusion of hard-line figures and former allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be welcome news for Rouhani as he focuses on domestic policy in the final two years of his presidency.

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