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Iran Election Extended by Two Hours with Turnout at Just 27%

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Iran Election Extended by Two Hours with Turnout at Just 27%

Iranians Cast Ballots in Parliamentary Elections with Low Turnout

Iranians took to the polls to vote for a new parliament in an election that saw a turnout of only 27% after the initial 10 hours of voting. The low turnout prompted officials to extend polling hours in an effort to encourage more participation.

Authorities had predicted that turnout would surpass the historically low figure of 42.5% in the 2020 election in order to maintain regime legitimacy. Opposition groups, however, claimed that polling stations were near empty and labelled the extension of polling hours as a panic measure by the government.

Reformist candidates were disqualified from standing in the election, raising concerns about the lack of political diversity in the new parliament. Turnout is expected to be particularly low in Tehran province and Balochistan province for various reasons.

The election comes after President Rouhani was succeeded by Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner with a more pro-Russian and anti-western stance. A challenge for the regime will be whether to publish accurate turnout results that may show widespread voter apathy.

In a controversial move, the regime announced the arrest and sentencing of Grammy winner Shervin Hajipour on charges of propaganda against the establishment. Hajipour has been ordered to write music critical of the US and will serve a prison sentence of nearly four years.

The outcome of the Iranian parliamentary election and the handling of dissenting voices like Hajipour’s will be closely watched by the international community as Iran navigates its political landscape under its new leadership.

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