Iran reformists sweep Tehran council elections
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Iran reformists sweep Tehran council elections

Conservatives lose power in capital for the first time in 14 years, as relative moderates take all 21 seats

An Iranian man checks the list of municipal council elections ahead of voting at a polling station in Tehran on May 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Behrouz MEHRI
An Iranian man checks the list of municipal council elections ahead of voting at a polling station in Tehran on May 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Behrouz MEHRI

TEHRAN, Iran — 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 reelection 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 councilors for the city of nine million, and stuck resolutely to the names put forward by the relatively 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.

Mohsen Hashemi (C), the son of late former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, attends his father's mourning ceremony at Jamaran mosque in Tehran, on January 8, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE)
Mohsen Hashemi (C), the son of late former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, attends his father’s mourning ceremony at Jamaran mosque in Tehran, on January 8, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE)

Rafsanjani was the key backroom figure behind the recent alliance of relative 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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