TEHRAN AFP Feb13, 2020- Campaigning kicked off in Iran on Thursday ahead of next week’s crucial parliamentary election at which conservatives are expected to win most seats after thousands of moderates and reformists were disqualified.
The February 21 election comes after months of escalating tensions between Iran and its arch enemy the United States.
The Guardian Council, which vets candidates, said more than 7,000 qualified to stand in the election, but even more were disqualified, semi-official news agency ISNA reported.
“In this election 7,148 will compete for the parliament’s 290 seats... and 7,296 have been disqualified,” it quoted National Elections Commission chief Jamal Orf as saying. Most of the barred candidates come from the ranks of moderate conservative President Hassan Rouhani’s alliance with reformists.
There was not much fanfare seen on the streets of Tehran where posters went up for the first day of campaigning, an AFP correspondent reported.