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Balance of power at stake in Iran dual election

February 26, 2016 - IRAN

The election for the 290-seat unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) and 86-member Assembly of Experts, the body that supervises Iran's leadership, will be held on the same day for the first time.

The hardliner-reformist balance of power is at stake, and there is no way of predicting how the sanctions issue might influence the election result. Boycotts and unrest are likely if the Guardian Council disqualifies many reformists from running.

Some expert sources suggest that the Assembly of Experts election may turn out to be important in determining the political balance of power within the Islamic Republic, including whether President Hassan Rouhani, regarded as a moderate, will be able to advance his political agenda. Its members are elected by the public for eight-year terms from lists of Shia jurists.

The Guardian Council is the powerful body that vets candidates for presidential and parliamentary elections. Six members are appointed by Iran's Supreme Leader and six are jurists nominated by the judiciary and elected by the Majlis. The Assembly of Experts is charged with electing the Supreme Leader, the most powerful man in the country. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and appoints the heads of the judiciary and the state broadcaster.

Iran's legislative elections to come on February 26, 2016 (PressTV 18 Feb 2015)

Deal or not, many U.S. states will keep sanctions grip on Iran (Reuters 15 Apr 2015)

Iran's Supreme Leader Says Sanctions Must Lift When Nuclear Deal Is Signed (NYT 9 Apr 2015)

Rouhani eyes parliamentary elections (AL-Monitor 10 Apr 2015)

Date written/update: 2015-04-15