Voting underway in Iran's parliamentary elections

TEHRAN, Iran - Iranians were voting on Friday in parliamentary elections, the country's first since its landmark nuclear deal with world powers last summer.

See Full Article

The vote is in part seen as a referendum on the policies of moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who is credited with bringing about the deal that curbed Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling international sanctions.

At the same time as parliamentary elections, Iranians are also voting for the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body empowered to choose or dismiss the country's supreme leader.

State TV showed long lines of people waiting to cast their ballots in the twin elections as the polls opened.

Some 53,000 polling stations throughout Iran are taking ballots for the 290-member parliament and the 88-member Experts Assembly. Nearly 55 million Iranians are eligible to vote.

In the parliament vote, reformists seeking greater democratic changes and moderates supporting Rouhani are pitted against hard-liners who oppose the nuclear deal and openings with the West.

The balloting is unlikely to change Iran's course over major policies regardless of who wins but a win by reformists and moderates will give Rouhani the support he needs as he tries to repair the economy and move toward warmer ties with the United States.

The barring of a majority of reformists from the race by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog that vets election candidates, means they are unlikely to win a majority alone but a substantial bloc would mean a new shift in Iran's politics.

Among those who cast their ballot in the first hours of the voting was Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader who has the final say on all state matters. He had urged Iranians to vote, saying it was both a "right" and a "responsibility" and that a high turnout would boost Iran's image and might.

"Whoever likes Iran and its dignity, greatness and glory should participate in this election," he said after casting his ballot in Tehran. "We have enemies who are eyeing us greedily. Turnout in the elections should be such that our enemy will be disappointed and will lose its hope. People should be observant and vote with open eyes."

A high turnout is likely to help reformists and moderates to return in significant numbers in order to reduce hard-liners' ability to block Rouhani's agenda of economic, social and political reforms.

Late Thursday, Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli predicted a turnout of 70 per cent.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Betsy Bloomingdale private collection going to auction

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Personal belongings of the late fashion icon, socialite and philanthropist Betsy Bloomingdale will be auctioned in New York later this year and next year. Bloomingdale, who was married to the late Alfred S. Source
  • Dangerous roads: 18 pedestrians struck, 1 killed in Toronto Thursday

    Canada News CTV News
    It was a tragic day on the roads Thursday in Toronto after 18 pedestrians were struck by vehicles, including one senior who later died. By noon on Thursday, 10 pedestrians had been hit by vehicles on Toronto roads, with more collisions occurring in the evening hours. Source
  • Ontario to import Quebec electricity under 7-year deal

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario and Quebec will sign a new seven-year electricity agreement today when the two governments hold a joint cabinet meeting in Toronto. The Canadian Press has learned Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard will sign the deal, which will see Ontario import up to two terawatt hours of electricity from Quebec each year, enough to power a city the size of Kitchener, Ont. Source
  • Inflation inches up to 1.3% despite cheaper food

    Canada News CBC News
    The cost of living in Canada went up by 1.3 per cent in the year ended in September, up from 1.1 per cent the previous month. Statistics Canada reported Friday that food prices were the biggest cause of the deceleration, as the food index posted its smallest year-over-year gain since February 2000. Source
  • Spend more on affordable housing, wipe out homelessness: Report

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — A new report on homelessness proposes nearly doubling federal spending on affordable housing over the next 10 years to effectively eliminate the problem. Two groups — the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness say — that would effectively make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. Source
  • Polish minister claims Egypt sold warships to Russia for symbolic price of $1

    World News CTV News
    WARSAW, Poland - Poland's defence minister says he believes Egypt has sold two French-made Mistral warships to Russia for the symbolic price of $1. Antoni Macierewicz made the claim during a parliamentary debate on Thursday and later told reporters he had the information "from good sources" but did not reveal any other details. Source
  • 'I'm petrified': Cape Breton braces for more rainfall after severe flooding

    Canada News CTV News
    Parts of Atlantic Canada are bracing for heavy rainfall this weekend as Cape Breton continues to clean up from a severe Thanksgiving weekend storm that flooded hundreds of homes. Environment Canada has issued special weather statements about heavy rainfall in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. Source
  • Woman addresses gender gap issue to Commons committee — of all men

    Canada News CBC News
    When Jenny Wright addressed the Federal Standing Committee on Finance recently in Charlottetown, she was addressing a group of men. That surprised Wright, the executive director of the St. John's Status of Women Council, who was there to talk about economic equality for women. Source
  • Typhoon Haima lashes China; death toll up in Philippines [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    VIGAN, Philippines — Super Typhoon Haima weakened and blew out to sea Thursday after smashing the northern Philippines with ferocious wind and rain overnight. Flooding, landslides and power outages were evident, but large casualties appeared to have been averted after nearly 100,000 people fled to safer ground. Source
  • Still no aid for Aleppo's sick, hungry and wounded despite Russian pause in bombing

    World News CBC News
    The United Nations said medical evacuations from eastern Aleppo had not begun on Friday as it had hoped, as a lack of security guarantees and "facilitation" prevent aid workers taking advantage of a pause in the bombing announced by Russia. Source