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DATE=2/19/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN ELECTION (L) NUMBER=2-259351 BYLINE=SCOTT BOBB DATELINE=TEHRAN CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: In Iran, supporters of President Mohammad Khatami's reformist policies appear headed for a major victory. Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from Tehran that results have been announced for one-third of the seats, primarily in rural areas, and reformists already have taken the lead. TEXT: Election officials say voter turnout in Friday's parliamentary elections was heavy, approaching the record set in presidential elections three years ago. Preliminary returns indicate voters have delivered a clear call for change. About three- fourths of the next parliament (members) are to be newcomers and predominantly young. The government is announcing the winners by name only and not by political tendency. However, Iranian experts who are following the tally say reformist and centrist candidates appear poised to gain control of the new parliament for the first time since the revolution. They say conservatives should win about one-fourth of the seats. Interior Minister Abdulvahid Mousavi Lari Saturday praised the vote, saying although the campaign was competitive, everyone has displayed tolerance of the results. /// MOUSAVI LARI ACT. IN FARSI FADE UNDER /// The minister said both the minority and the majority have accepted to be bound by the rules of the political game. He called the result a victory for the Iranian people. Iranians heeded the call of their leaders and turned out early and in large numbers Friday. Lines were long outside the nation's 36-thousand polling centers. Many polls closed two hours or more later than the scheduled time because of the number of voters still waiting to cast their ballots. The campaign pitted reformists who advocate greater freedom in politics and society against conservatives who fear too much change could undermine the principles of Iran's Islamic revolution. A political science professor at Tehran University, Hodi Hamati, says support for the reformists has exceeded expectations. /// HAMATI ACT /// We are going to have a parliament that is majority at least -- 65 percent for sure but maybe 75 percent in all likelihood -- go to the reformist camp. And that is essentially in a lot of people's anticipation, out of this very competitive and energetic and fairly open campaign. /// END ACT /// Professor Hamati says conservatives, who are poised to become the minority for the first time since the revolution, appear ready to assume this role. /// HAMATI ACT /// I expect them (conservatives) to get in the neighborhood of 30 percent or maybe even 25 percent of the total seats in the parliament. And even if 30 percent, this is fairly representative of the sample of the general population. And I think, to give them credit, they have been fairly subdued and have prepared themselves for that result. /// END ACT /// Election officials say final results may take days, especially in the populous capital of Tehran that is believed to have voted overwhelmingly pro-reform. (signed) NEB/SB/JP 19-Feb-2000 15:18 PM EDT (19-Feb-2000 2018 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .