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Reformists Sweep Tehran City Council

Iran -- A weekly session of Tehran's City Council on Tuesday October 06, 2015.
Iran -- A weekly session of Tehran's City Council on Tuesday October 06, 2015.

Two days after the Iranian presidential and local elections, the governor of Tehran announced on Sunday that all 21 seats at Tehran's city council have been swept up by the Omid (Hope) election block - a candidate list put up by Iran's reformists.

Governor Issa Farhadi also announced that 2,500 ballot boxes out of 4,000 in Tehran have been already counted and all 21 members of the city council are elected.

Tehran usually votes for reformist candidates in recent years. The capital city has a large urban population, with many universities and higher concentration of the country's political, business and intellectual elite.

President Hassan Rouhani's respectable showing of 57% in the presidential election and also the high turnout in Tehran might point to a larger segment of the electorate, who mistrusts the conservatives and wants change, coming out to vote.

Mr. Farhadi also spoke about the turnout in the May 19 election. "In 2013, 2.7 million people voted [in Tehran] and this year 900,000 more voters cast their ballots", bringing the total to 3.6 million.

The total sweep of the city council by reformists means that by all probability, the current mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf will be replaced. Ghalibaf was one of the challengers to the incumbent president Hassan Rouhani in the May 19 election. As a former member of the Revolutionary Guards, he belongs to the conservative camp in Iranian politics.

The Omid candidate list was made by the High Council of Reformist Policy Formulation, headed by Mohammad Reza Aref, the leader of reformists in parliament. It is believed that in their major decisions, the High Council members consult with former president Mohammad Khatami, who is the unofficial leader of reformists in Iran.