6 May 2012

President's supporters depleted

9:21 am on 6 May 2012

A second round of voting in parliamentary elections in Iran has recorded further gains for opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

His supporters are now heavily outnumbered by more conservative politicians in the chamber.

According to final results announced on State TV, Mr Ahmadinejad's main rivals won 41 seats of those contested, while independents won 11.

Iranian media report a high turn-out. The first round drew 64% in March.

Mr Ahmadinejad previously enjoyed the support of hardliners, but he alienated them when he tried to assert his authority against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamanei.

In the past few years Mr Ahmadinejad's allies have been removed from important posts, weakening his influence.

The new parliament will begin its sessions in late May.

Mr Ahmadinejad is required to step down in August 2013, after two terms in office.