Iran votes in favor of reformers
According to the preliminary results of the elections to the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts, the Conservatives received 106 seats in the 290-seat parliament.
But it is noted that they could lose a majority due to the large success of the reformers, who won 79 mandates (30 of them are in Tehran). Independents won 44 seats in parliament.
There was a need for a second round of elections in some districts, because none of the candidates could achieve the required majority. It will be held in late April.
Despite the fact that the conservatives have more seats than the reformers, the latter considerably increased their influence and may even come to the fore, as they are supported by many independent candidates, as well as a number of moderate conservatives, such as the Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani.
The position of conservatives in the Assembly of Experts was also shaken. Their current speaker Mohammad Yazdi is in 15th place. At the same time, one of the most intransigent Iranian conservatives, Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, lost his seat in Iran's top clerical body.
The first and second places were taken by the President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"The people showed their power once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government," Kommersant cited Rouhani as saying.
A senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza said that "the newly elected Majlis has changed to the side of reformers." He noted that this result is quite natural. "Tehran is the most advanced city in the political sense and, of course, Tehran is the vanguard of the reform and liberal movement in the whole Iran. One can be surprised about the absolute victory of reformers in Tehran, but, in my opinion, all the observers and political analysts said about their victory. So, it's unexpected expectation," the expert believes.
Sazhin noted that "independent MPs will be very important, as they support fundamentalists on some issues, and reformers on some other issues". "Overall, I think that this will allow the government of the President Rouhani to pursue its reforms and plans more effectively, first of all, of course, in the economy. And the second, he will be able to establish normal economic relations with developing countries more freely, so I think that it is a positive thing for Iran," he said.
The orientalist reminded that Rouhani and Hashemi Rafsanjani "do not position themselves as reformers, rather like centrists, but they are still close to reformers." "And, of course, such a balance of power in the Assembly of Experts may affect the elections of a new Supreme Leader," Vladimir Sazhin concluded.
According to a senior scientist of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the RAS, Stanislav Pritchin, "despite all the difficulties which reformers faced during the registration of candidates for the elections, they were able to get through the campaign and receive a sufficient number of seats in the parliament, as well as implement the trust related to the nuclear deal, which the team of the president and the liberal wing have now." "For the most part these are mainly political successes. Economic consequences, improvement cannot be felt now, as Iran returned to its usual markets, but it has not yet received a sufficient financial return," he said.
"Despite this, we see quite a serious success of the liberal Iranian wing. We see that Hassan Rouhani became a member of the Assembly of Experts, as well as Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. It will be easier for the Iranian President with the current parliamentary composition to implement the ideas necessary for further reforming in the country. We can say that a balance was actually observed here and the liberals, if necessary, will be able to carry out necessary decisions through the parliament," the expert added.
Commenting on the success of reformers in Tehran, Pritchin recalled that the Iranian capital "is more opposed in relation to the conservative regime than the rest of the country."
Responding to a question about the meaning of the passage of Rouhani and Hashemi Rafsanjani to the Assembly of Experts, the expert said that "it is too early to talk about it, because the next Assembly of Experts will work for 8 years." "It is highly probable that the current Supreme Leader will still be in office," the orientalist said.
"That is, the game will be tough and it absolutely does not mean that members of the liberal wing of the Iranian political system in the future will have an opportunity to choose the supreme leader convenient for them," Stanislav Pritchin summed up.