Sixth reformist has election cancelled by conservative council
TEHRAN, Iran, April 7, 2000 (AFP) - A conservative-led Iranian council has overturned the election of another pro-reform MP, state radio said Friday, the sixth reformist to have his victory cancelled since February's vote. The Council of Guardians cited "irregularities" in cancelling the results of a district in Tehran province where a reformist backer of President Mohammad Khatami had ousted the conservative incumbent.
MP Ahmad Rassouli-Nejad had demanded a recount of the results in Damavand and Firouzkouh, where he was beaten by Mostafa Khanzadi in the February 18 election, which finally gave Khatami a long-sought pro-reform majority.
Khanzadi becomes the sixth pro-Khatami victor to have his win erased by the watchdog body, which also overturned results in three districts last month, costing reformists five other seats in the legislature.
Reformers trounced conservatives at the polls, winning 226 of 290 seats outright and ending the longstanding right-wing majority that had stymied many of Khatami's social and political reforms.
The six cancellations are expected to be contested along with the other 64 in a second round run-off later this month for those seats where no candidate captured at least 25 percent of the popular vote.
In the run-up to the voting the council, a bastion of conservatives, barred many candidates from standing in the polls on the grounds that they did not adhere strongly enough to the values of the Islamic republic.
The new parliament is due to take office until May.