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Iran Begins Registering Candidates For February 2020 Parliamentary Polls

IRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a session of parliament in Tehran, September 3, 2019

Registration has begun for candidates running in Iran’s parliamentary elections set for February 2020, Iranian media reported.

The registration kicked off on December 1 and will continue until December 7, the official government news agency IRNA reported.

The elections will be a gauge for the popularity of President Hassan Rouhani and his allies.

It comes after protests and deadly unrest over a significant rise in the price of gasoline.

Iran has not released any figure on the death toll. But Amnesty International says at least 161 were killed in the protests. The London-based human rights watchdog has said that “the real death toll is likely to be significantly higher than this.”

Iranian lawmaker Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, who sits on the parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, was quoted last week as saying authorities arrested more than 7,000 people.

The elections will be held February 21 and the new parliament will begin working in May.

Candidates run in 207 constituencies for 290 seats. The hard-line Guardian Council, a powerful constitutional watchdog, must approve those wishing to run in the elections.

The council has a record of disqualifying independent and pro-reform candidates.