by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – For the first time since extended nationwide anti-government protests were triggered in Iran last year, the Iranian Islamic Republic is preparing to hold new parliamentary elections in March 2024, the Associated Press reports. Iranian authorities began registering electoral candidates for the 290-seat parliament on Monday.
Iran has held regular and presidential and parliamentary elections since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. However, an ultra-conservative 12-member clerical Guardian Council ensures that no one deemed to be disloyal to the Islamic Republic is approved to run for office.
More than 7,000 prospective candidates were disqualified prior to Iran’s last parliamentary elections, which were held in 2020, AP reports. With just over 42% of eligible voters casting ballots, the turnout in 2020 was the lowest since 1979.
Next year’s elections in the wake of Iran’s being rocked by months of mass protests last year: the rare demonstrations began in September last year, triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been arrested by Iran’s infamous morality police for wearing a hijab incorrectly.
Tehran put down the protests in brutal fashion, causing the deaths of 500 people, AP reports. Some of those who died were executed by the government for their involvement in the uprising.
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