December 21, 2006

Ahmadinejad Opponents Win Elections

Opponents of Iranian President Ahmadinejad won nationwide elections for local councils, final results confirmed Thursday. Moderate conservatives critical of Ahmadinejad won a majority of seats, followed by reformists. Some conservatives feel Ahmadinejad has spent too much time confronting the West and failed to deal with Iran's struggling economy. In Tehran, candidates supporting Mayor Qalibaf, a moderate conservative, won seven of the 15 council seats. Reformists won four, while Ahmadinejad's allies won three. Similar anti-Ahmadinejad sentiment was visible in the final results of a parallel election held to select members of the 86-member Assembly of Experts.

See also Iran President Facing Revival of Students' Ire: The Iranian student movement is reawakening and may even be spearheading a widespread resistance against President Ahmadinejad. The students' complaints largely mirrored public frustrations over the president's crackdown on civil liberties, his blundering economic policies, and his harsh oratory against the West, which they fear will isolate the country.