Iran holds runoff parliamentary vote


An Iranian woman votes at a polling station in Tehran on March 2, 2012. Iran's 48 million voters are being called on to decide their next parliament today in elections whose turnout will be weighed to give an idea of support for the Islamic republic's regime.



Iran holds runoff parliamentary elections today following a March vote that gave a major boost to opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, reported the Associated Press.

State-run Press TV said 130 candidates are competing for 65 seats in Iran's 290-member parliament, a largely symbolic body with little control over policy but influence in domestic matters.

More from GlobalPost: Iran: What the parliamentary elections mean

Polls opened this morning in 33 constituencies, and the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has already cast his vote, said Press TV

Ahmadinejad's opponent secured a comfortable majority of seats of the new parliament in the first round, said AP.

Reformist candidates are mainly suppressed, so today's vote is being seen mainly as a contest between those loyal to Ahmadinejad and those loyal to Khamenei, part of a growing divide in Iran's powerful clerical establishment, said Reuters

Although Khamenei endorsed Ahmadinejad's 2009 presidential bid -- a disputed vote that led to mass riots and accusations of fraud from now-suppressed opposition leaders Mir-hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi -- relations have since devolved into a thinly-veiled struggle for power