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Fri Mar 2, 2012, 03:42 AM

Iran holds parliamentary elections

Source: The Guardian

Polls have opened in Iran's parliamentary elections, the country's first major voting since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 and the mass protests and crackdowns that followed.

The balloting for the 290-member parliament is unlikely to change Iran's course over major policies including its nuclear stand-off with the west regardless of who wins, but it may shape the political landscape for a successor to Ahmadinejad in 2013.

In the morning hours, Iranian state TV went live from several polling stations in the capital Tehran, showing long queues of people waiting to cast their ballot. More than 48 million Iranians are eligible to vote at the nearly 47,000 polling stations across the nation.

In the absence of major reformist parties, which were kicked off the political stage over the 2009 post-election riots, Friday's vote is seen as a political battleground for competing conservative factions that support the country's
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and those backing Ahmadinejad.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/02/iran-parliamentary-elections-polls-open

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