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The parliamentary elections for the 9th Islamic Consultative Assembly, or Majlis, were held in Iran on Friday, 2 March 2012 with a second round on 4 May 2012 in those 65 districts where no candidate received 25% or more of the votes cast. More than 5,000 candidates registered but more than a third were disqualified by the Guardian Council leaving about 3,400 candidates to run for the 290 seat representing the 31 provinces. The election has been described by journalists and analysts "as a contest between" Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with Khamenei supporters winning a large majority of seats. Iranian officials and state media have described the election as a sign of Iranians' trust in the Islamic Republic and a message to the West rejecting pressure over Iran's nuclear program. Although no final election turnout figures were released, state media emphasized that high voter turnout was high. The parliament has "no direct control over key foreign and security policy matters" but some influence over those policies and coming elections. In the wake of the crushing of reformist protest against the 2009 election results, few if any reformist candidates were allowed by the Guardian Council to run. The new parliament was opened on 27 May 2012. (via Freebase)