Iranians vote in parliament elections favoring conservatives

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Kelly in Iran they're voting for parliament today now turn out for this phone has been in question and there are a couple reasons for that first there is not much variety politically among the candidates on the ballot and second reports of a couple of deadly cases of coronavirus have people jittery about gathering in crowds and Pierce Peter Kenyon is in Tehran he's been out in those crowds today Peter hi Mary Louise so when I said there's not much variety on the ballot that is because it is tilted toward hardline candidates is that right how come well that is right and this tilting was done by a group known as the guardian council which is charged with vetting candidates for office when they did that for these elections are running media report the council simply struck off the list some seven thousand moderate and reform candidates thereby immediately eliminating any chance of those factions making significant gains in parliament this year so really the only question now is how many hard liners will be joining or rejoining the parliament and there's also been some moves by critics of the regime to just tell people boycott and use that as a way of registering her displeasure with the regime that was the yes that that was the reformist mantra don't show up boycotted which of course solidifies the hardliners gains but it's also a form of protest yes much does today's election actually matter I think most Americans are aware that around is ultimately ruled by a by a supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei so how much power does Iran's parliament actually have they have some they do have a role in the system despite the supreme leader's high ranking final say on everything in recent years parliament in fact it's been seen as kind of an arbiter between the hardline supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his supporters on the one hand and the more pragmatic president Hassan Rouhani and his moderate and even reformists backers on the other Rouhani said limited success pushing his agenda and he course was badly hurt when the trump administration came in to Washington and pulled out of the twenty fifteen nuclear agreement which had been his crowning foreign policy deal so now it'll be worth watching to see if the people who voted to honey and twice will now step back and let the hardliners returned to a bigger share of influence at least in the legislature also paints a picture of Alexion day in a row and you've been out talking to people what's the atmosphere well no shortage of opinions everybody wanted to talk that was not an issue and I'm sure you've experienced it yourself you can find all manner of use on the streets here I have one here for you from a vein as a seventy six year old woman she told me she gets a lot of satisfaction out of voting for hardline conservative legislators well I run ins don't call them hardliners by the way they call them principle is and that means standing up for the principles of the nineteen seventy nine Islamic revolution but Bennett says she likes these principles because of the way they stand up to the United States and its allies here's how she put it I support a hundred percent support their babies stand against America begins that is right against all these nonsense political at Palmers but the other major wave of opinion in Tehran is about the urgent need for lawmakers to start doing things to improve the lives of the people here turnout was also down this time back in twenty sixteen it was over sixty percent and this time the estimate is this going to come in at about fifty percent of eligible voters and meanwhile there's this other factors to Orion's who reportedly have died of corona virus what has been the effect of that on on the elections and then just generally in the country well it big news of the day everyone's talking about it the cases were actually down in the city of Qom they weren't here in Tehran but they have sparked fear that it could spread it certainly has a habit of doing that and some anger as well people are asking why the government didn't report these cases until after the victims were dead there's some concern the virus might have spread farther and faster because the alarm wasn't sounded soon enough and there's worries of course about the health system being able to deal with the corona virus outbreak NPR's Peter Kenyon they're reporting from Tehran thank you Peter thanks very

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