Anti-Ahmadinejad Faction Wins Big in Iran Elections

Attempt to confront Iran's Supreme Leader led to Ahmadinejad's losses

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2012 8:48 AM CST

(Newser) – In a battle of conservative hardliners versus conservative hardliners in Iran's elections on Friday, the winners were ... the conservative hardliners. But in this case, it is the conservatives opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who appear to have come out on top, taking upward of 80% of the seats in Iran's parliamentary elections, according to one anti-Ahmadinejad hardliner. Ahmadinejad's defeat was so thorough that even his sister, running in her family's home region, lost her bid (which one analyst saw as a "possible sign of fraud.").

Of the 197 winners announced yesterday, 102 were from the anti-Ahmadinejad faction. With Iran's presidential elections looming in 2013, the parliamentary results were a major setback to Ahmadinejad, who had tried to challenge the authority of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reports the AP. But unlike the 2009 elections, which were followed by massive protests around Iran, this time there were no major claims of voting irregularities; reformists had been almost completely shut out from the ballot.

In front of a portrait of late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani casts his ballot for the parliamentary elections at a polling station in Tehran, March 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/ISNA, Ruhollah Vahdati)
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