Iran holds run-off parliamentary election

ANKARA- Iranians started voting on Friday in a second round of parliamentary elections for 68 seats of the 290-seat assembly, state TV reported, with the allies of President Hassan Rouhani seeking to wrest seats from hardliners.
"The voters will elect 68 lawmakers in constituencies that candidates failed to get 25 percent of votes cast in the first round of the election," said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, state TV reported.
Rouhani's moderate and centrist allies made major gains in the parliamentary election held on February 26, but failed to win a majority. The current parliament is dominated by the hardline allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Rouhani's allies gained all 30 seats representing the capital city of Tehran in the first round of elections. Rahmani Fazli said the results will be announced by Sunday.
The new parliament will begin its session on May 27. It has no direct control over major policy matters but it can back the policies of Rouhani to bolster the country's sanction-hit economy.
Sanctions were lifted in January in exchange for curbing Iran's nuclear programme under a deal reached with major powers in 2015.
A moderate-dominated parliament also can influence the re-election of Rouhani as president in 2017.
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