Election Watch #4: Facts on Iran’s Election

February 28, 2012

On Jan. 21, Iran announced the final list of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election. The following are key facts on the list of candidates.

  • 5,395 candidates originally registered to run for parliament.
  • 3,444 were approved by the guardian council, which means 35 percent were eliminated by the council.
  • 261 incumbent candidates – of the 290 seats in parliament - registered to run again, but 35 were disqualified by the guardian council on various grounds.
  • 470 candidates withdrew their candidacy. 
  • 24 party coalition lists are running in Tehran and 67 are running across the country.
  • Two reformist coalitions are presenting candidate lists in Tehran. The rest of the coalitions are conservative or principlist.
  • 48 million people are eligible to vote in the elections. In the 2008 parliamentary election, 55 percent voted. In the 2004 parliamentary election, 51 percent voted. In contrast, voter turnout for disputed 2009 presidential election was 83 percent.
  • Average voter turnout for the eight parliamentary elections has been 63 percent nationally. But in the past 15 years, the average for Tehran province—which includes the capital city—has been 44 percent, the lowest in the country.
  • On average, there are 12 contenders for every seat in parliament.


Click here to read Yasmin Alem's report Duality by Design: The Iranian Electoral System published by the International Foundation of Electoral Systems.