Conservatives Lead 'Cooked' Iran Vote

New lawmakers expected to blast prez on economy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2008 3:04 PM CDT
Iranian officials work at election headquarters in Interior Ministry in Tehran, Iran, Saturday March. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
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(Newser) – Early results in Iran's elections today are no surprise—conservatives will keep power—but they are expected to be more critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Reuters reports. Some are teaming with reformists to fight the president's economic policies, which have let inflation rise to 19%. Reformists also picked up seats despite having many candidates disqualified.

In all, “principlists"—supporters of Islamic Republic ideals—have 71% of the seats so far, and reformists 29%. Clerics and jurists removed many reformists from the ballot, often for lacking commitment to Islam. “We announce with honor that we gained victory in an unequal election,” said a reformist spokesman. The US has criticized the clerical interference, dubbing the election “cooked.”