Iran election: President Ahmadinejad's sister fails to win seat


The sister of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has failed to win a seat in the country's parliamentary election.

Parvin Ahmadinejad, a sister of the president and a current member of Tehran's municipal council, was defeated by a conservative rival in their hometown of Garmsar.
She only lost by 728 votes, which would indicate that she did have considerable support - albeit not enough to defeat her rival.
Her failure is seen as a big blow to Mr Ahmadinejad in the first balloting since his disputed re-election in 2009.
Conservative rivals of the president were leading in the race for parliament according to early election results on Saturday in an indication he may face a more hostile house in the remaining 18 months of his second term in office.
The strong showing by loyalists of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Friday's parliamentary elections also reflected staunch support for Iran's theocracy and its firm stance in the nuclear standoff with the West.
Early returns in the capital, Tehran, showed Khamenei loyalists have pulled ahead. Partial results from provincial towns also show conservative Ahmadinejad rivals were elected in many constituencies.
State media said the turnout was estimated at over 67 per cent from among 48 million Iranians eligible to vote.
The conservatives' lead had been expected as Friday's balloting for the 290-seat parliament had boiled down to a popularity contest between two conservative camps – those opposing Ahmadinejad and those backing the president.
Major reformist factions were absent from polling stations and the outcome of the elections is unlikely to change Iran's course over major policies – including its controversial nuclear program, military and oil policies.
But a win by his rivals will weaken Ahmadinejad's camp ahead of the 2013 presidential race.
Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, whose daughter is married to Khamenei's son, was leading in Tehran, followed by other Khamenei loyalists. Ali Motahari and Ahmad Tavakoli, two Ahmadinejad opponents, also appear to be heading for a win in the Iranian capital.
More than 3,440 parliamentary hopefuls – all vetted by Iran's ruling Islamic system and none with links to the opposition Green Movement that led protests after Ahmadinejad's re-election – ran in the elections.
Nationwide, final results are expected to be released during the weekend and early next week. Results in small towns, with few representatives in parliament, appear sooner than cities like Tehran, which has some 5 million eligible voters and 30 legislators.
The new parliament will begin its work in late May. It is expected to boost the voices of hard-line opponents of Ahmadinejad in next year's presidential elections.