Local election results in Iran seen as rebuff for Ahmadinejad
19 Dec, 2006 12:30
Analysts say the embarrassing defeat in local elections for the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will encourage more moderate voices to be heard. However, they also predict the outcome is likely to have little imminent affect on Iran's policies.
A turnout of 60 % was well above previous local elections, and is seen by many as a backlash against what is considered to be a series of broken electoral promises to fix the country's faltering economy. Only three candidates from Mr Ahmadinejad's “Sweet Scent of Service” list were in the top 15, including his sister who was in 11th place. It is the candidates supporting the mayor of Tehran who are set to be the biggest faction on the 15-member council with a total of seven seats. Whether or not they will eventually wield influence on the president's policies has little importance for them now. The winners are simply celebrating what they say is a decisive defeat for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, due to what they have called his authoritarian and inefficient methods.