IRAN-VOTE

IRAN-VOTE

An Iranian woman receives a ballot to cast her vote in the second round of parliamentary elections at a polling station in the town of Robat Karim, some 40 kms southwest of the capital Tehran, on April 29, 2016.
Iranians started voting in second round elections for almost a quarter of parliament’s seats, the latest political showdown between reformists and conservatives seeking to influence the country’s future. Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) for the ballot which is taking place in 21 provinces, but not Tehran, because no candidate in 68 constituencies managed to win 25 percent of votes cast in initial voting on February 26. Reformists who backed moderate President Hassan Rouhani made big gains in the first round following Iran’s implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers, which lifted sanctions blamed for long hobbling the economy. Conservative MPs, including vehement opponents of the West who openly criticised the landmark agreement that reined in Iran’s atomic programme, lost dozens of seats and were wiped out in Tehran where reformists won all 30 places in parliament. / AFP / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

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