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Vote Gives Iranian Hard-Liners Parliament Majority

Tehran, 25 February 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian electoral officials today said that a final vote count of the 20 February controversial parliamentary elections shows that conservatives gained a clear majority in the 290-seat assembly.

Reuters cites the official IRNA news agency as saying that conservatives and hard-liners won 156 seats in the 290-seat assembly.

The final figures come after ballots were counted in the last uncounted constituency, Tehran, where conservatives won 27 out of 30 seats. Repeat elections will be held for three seats in the capital in which no candidate received the minimum 25 percent of votes.

The United States and the European Union criticized the elections as being flawed. Reformists say the polls were rigged from the start after an unelected conservative body blacklisted some 2,400 reformist candidates from standing in the polls.