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Voting under way in Iran parliamentary races

  • Story Highlights
  • Iranians cast ballots Friday in parliamentary run-off elections to decide 82 seats
  • Earlier contests seen as victory for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
  • Reformists suffered setback when 70 percent of their candidates were disqualified
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranians headed to the polls Friday to cast ballots in parliamentary runoff elections to decide 82 seats.

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An Iranian girl drops her mother's ballot for the parliamentary runoff election.

The first round of elections were held in March with 204 parliamentary races being settled. It was a decisive victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his hard-line allies.

Polling is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET) unless more time is needed.

The reformists suffered a setback before last month's election when 70 percent of their candidates were disqualified. Iran's conservative Guardian Council screened candidates and disqualified about 1,700 it deemed unsuitable, mostly reformists.

The Guardian Council is an unelected body of six high clerics appointed by supreme religious leaders and six lawyers nominated by the head of the judiciary branch.

Iran is scheduled to hold its presidential election in the spring of 2009. Ahmadinejad has not announced whether he'll run for a second term. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.

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