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Khamenei of Iran encourages citizens to participate in parliamentary run-off despite lack of enthusiasm



Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently cast his ballot and urged Iranians to participate in the run-off elections for the remaining seats in Parliament. This comes after conservative candidates dominated the elections in March, with voter apathy remaining high since the last parliamentary elections in 2020. The 290-member legislature plays a secondary role in governing the country, which is controlled predominantly by hardliners. The outcome of the voting will not significantly change the composition of Parliament, with hardliners expected to secure most of the seats.

Despite the importance of the elections, declining voter participation has been a major concern in Iran. The recent elections saw a turnout of 41 percent, the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Previous elections also witnessed a decrease in voter turnout, with only 48 percent participating in the 2021 presidential polls. This year’s elections are taking place amidst nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, which resulted in a violent crackdown by the authorities. Many moderate and reformist candidates have been barred from contesting, and the country continues to face economic challenges due to sanctions and a currency crisis.

The run-off elections on Friday follow increasing tensions between Iran and Israel, with Iran launching missiles and drones at Israel in April. Despite these challenges, the elections are crucial for shaping the political landscape of Iran. In Tehran, voters will choose from a pool of candidates, most of whom are hardliners sympathetic to Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi. The final results of the elections are expected on Monday, though counts in smaller constituencies may be announced earlier.

Overall, the run-off elections in Iran are a critical moment for the country’s political future. With conservative candidates dominating the previous elections and voter participation on the decline, these elections will determine the composition of Parliament for the coming years. Despite challenges such as international tensions and economic issues, Iranians are urged to participate in shaping their country’s political landscape. As the final results are awaited, the outcome of the elections will have implications for Iran’s domestic and international policies moving forward.

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