“Moderate Conservatives” Running Well In Iran

This Associated Press report on local elections currently going on in Iran is interesting, and should be read together with Scott’s post below. I don’t know a lot about Iran’s political structure, nor am I clear on whether votes are counted honestly enough for election results to be meaningful. In any case, however, the reported results are of interest:

Opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held an early lead in key races in Iran’s local elections, including in the capital Tehran, according to results announced Monday.
Those winning were mostly not reformers but conservatives–although more moderate conservatives than those allied with the extreme hardline president.
The trend, if borne out by final results, could prove an embarrassment for Ahmadinejad…
Partial results of Friday’s polls provided by the Interior Ministry suggested that Ahmadinejad’s allies had largely failed to win control of local councils that could prove a bellwether for the country. In the capital, candidates supporting Tehran Mayor Mohammed Bagher Qalibaf, a moderate conservative opposed to the president, had taken the lead.
The partial results also indicated, separately, that reformers might be making a partial comeback, after having been suppressed in the parliamentary elections of 2004 when many of their best candidates were barred from running.

These elections are obviously not free and open:

All municipal council candidates, including some 5,000 women, were vetted by parliamentary committees dominated by hard-liners. The committees disqualified about 10,000 nominees, according to reports in Iranian newspapers.

Still, the results as reported are very interesting.
Via Power Line News.

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