Index

DATE=2/21/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN ELECTIONS (L) NUMBER=2-259413 BYLINE=SCOTT BOBB DATELINE=TEHRAN CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Election officials in Iran say about one-third of the votes have been tallied for the remaining 30 parliamentary seats in the Iranian capital, and reformist candidates are winning most of these races. Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from Tehran that these returns, along with final results from the rest of the country issued earlier Monday, indicate a coalition of reformist and centrist candidates is set to dominate Iran's next parliament, with three-fourths of the seats. TEXT: Final results are in for 207 of the parliament's 290 seats. Reformist candidates and their centrist allies have won more than 70 percent of these. Conservative candidates have about one-fourth of the vote. The remaining seats are to be decided in a runoff election next month. Iranian observers following the tally say they expect reformists to take most of the seats in Tehran, as well as most of the seats in the runoff election. This would give a predominant role in the next parliament to advocates of change. The election is expected to boost President Mohammad Khatami's program of greater social and political freedoms. // OPT // Among the reported big winners in Tehran are the president's brother, Mohammad-Reza Khatami, Jamileh Kadivar, who is the sister of an imprisoned prominent reformist, and Ali Reza-Nouri, brother of another imprisoned reformist and former interior minister, Abdullah Nouri. // END OPT // Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, a centrist, has frequently been mentioned as the possible speaker in the new parliament. But he is reportedly trailing in Tehran, giving rise to speculation there may be a major problem with his bid for the post. One of the leaders of the former president's Construction Party, Gholam-Hosein Karbaschi, Monday called the election a good one. /// KARBASCHI ACT IN FARSI, WITH TRANSLATION /// [FARSI] The role of the minority and the majority has now changed. The group that used to be the majority are now the minority. /// END ACT /// Mr. Karbaschi said the role of his party is to provide support for the government's program of economic development and political reform. Mr. Karbaschi is a former mayor of Tehran. He was recently released from prison, after serving part of a two-year term for what supporters say were politically-motivated corruption charges. One of the strongest supporters of the reformist coalition is the union of university student groups, called the Student Consolidation Office. One of the group's leaders, Nima Fateh, told V-O-A (Monday) the students support strong reformist candidates because they want more freedom. /// FATEH ACT IN FARSI, WITH TRANSLATION /// [FARSI] An election means to express opinions, and it means to peacefully change certain things. There are things that are not in accordance with the will of the students, and we think that this was the proper method of bringing about change, rather than resorting to violent methods. /// END ACT /// Iranian political observers consider the students to be among the more radical of the reformist groups, and say their push for rapid reform could disrupt the next parliament. The student leaders say, however, they understand the need for gradual change, and will try to be patient. (Signed) NEB/FSB/WTW 21-Feb-2000 19:16 PM EDT (22-Feb-2000 0016 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .