Iranian Voters Use Parliamentary Election To Lash Out Against Ahmadinejad
Now CNN reports the president's sister, Parvin Ahmadinejad, lost out on a seat in parliament, prompting analysts to cry fraud.
"In Iran, locals are usually fiercely loyal to high ranking representatives from their area, even if they are unpopular at national level," said Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli-Iranian Middle East analyst.
"Although Ahmadinejad is not a popular politician, the very fact that his sister was defeated in Garmsar is a valid possible sign of fraud. This is likely to lead to even more infighting."
Solat Mortazavi, the deputy Interior minister overseeing the elections, praised the polling.
"These have been the most lawful elections," he said. "The elections were conducted in the best possible way."
Mortazavi said it was the first time Iran successfully used computerized voting systems in some polling stations. Final results might be released in a matter of days. He said flooding delayed the retrieval of ballot boxes from remote communities.
Roughly 64 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote Friday. Current Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Police Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi were both re-elected.
But to most observers, the real news of the election is whether voters backed the president or sided with candidates linked to Ahmadinejad's rival, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The president's sister's loss is considered a significant blow to the controversial leader, who currently faces global criticism and pressure from Western nations to reign in his country's nuclear program.