Iran kicks off parliamentary election campaign

Al-Monitor – Campaigning for Iran’s 11th parliament officially began today for the Feb. 21 elections. According to Tasnim News Agency, campaigning will last until Feb. 19. The short campaign window and the disqualifications of Reformist and moderate candidates have left the public with many questions as to who is running and under which political faction for the 290-seat assembly.

Over the last few administrations, Iran’s parliament has lost much of its power, often reduced to a stage where partisan issues are debated but rarely resolved. Issues of national importance or national security are sometimes contested but ultimately the parliament votes along the lines and policies set forth by the Supreme National Security Council and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Conservative Bultan News reported, “Based on polls, there is no excitement for these elections.” The article suggested the lack of interest may be due to some political factions not presenting their lists. Political groupings under a well known candidate are how many candidates distinguish their political affiliations, as in the Islamic Republic there are no formal political parties. The political alignments can be likened to Tea Party Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats. Bultan did not mention the disqualification of Reformist and moderate candidates.

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