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Iran reformists sweep Tehran council elections

Newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani prepares to give a televised speech in the capital Tehran on May 20, 2017. Iranians have chosen the “path of engagement with the world” and rejected extremism, President Hassan Rouhani said following his resounding re-election victory. ATTA KENARE / AFP

Iran’s reformists have swept to the power in Tehran’s city council, winning all 21 seats and knocking the conservatives from power, local media reported on Sunday.

It was another boost to the reformist camp after the resounding re-election of President Hassan Rouhani announced the day before.

The results of the council elections, which were held alongside the presidential ballot on Friday, were announced by the governor’s office.

Voters in Tehran had to choose 21 councillors for the city of nine million, and stuck resolutely to the names put forward by the moderate-reformist camp.

At the top of the list was Mohsen Hashemi, son of one of the Islamic revolution’s founding fathers, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died in January.

Rafsanjani was the key backroom figure behind the recent alliance of moderates and reformists that propelled Rouhani to power in 2013.

The victory in Tehran knocks the conservatives from power in the city for the first time in 14 years.

The incumbent mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, stood for the presidential election but dropped out just before the vote to back hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

The council will choose a new mayor when it convenes, which it must do within 45 days of the results.



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