Iranian legislative election, 1996

Iranian legislative election, 1996

8 March and 19 April 1996

All 270 seats of Islamic Consultative Assembly
135 seats needed for a majority
Registered 24,716,692[1]
Turnout 71.10%[1]

  Majority party Minority party Third party
Leader Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani Gholamhossein Karbaschi Mehdi Karoubi
Party Combatant Clergy Association
and allies
Executives of Construction
and allies
Association of Combatant Clerics
and allies
Leader's seat Did not stand Did not stand Did not stand
Seats won 90≈150 60≈80 30≈80

Speaker before election

Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri

Elected Speaker

Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri

Parliamentary elections were held in Iran on 8 March 1996, with a second round on 19 April.[2] The Combatant Clergy Association and its allies emerged as the largest bloc in the Majlis, winning 110 of the 270 seats.[2]

Electoral system

The constitution approved in a December 1979 referendum provided for a 270-seat Majlis, with five seats reserved for minority groups including Jews, Zorastrians, Armenians from the north and south of the country and one jointly elected by Assyrians and Chaldeans.[3]

The elections were conducted using a two-round system, with the number of candidates progressing to the second round being double the number of seats available. Candidates required an absolute majority to win a seat in the first round, and plurality to win in the second round.[3]


A total of 3,726 candidates contested the elections, including around 326 women.[3] 145 seats were won in the first round of voting.[4]

Main groups contesting in the elections were:[5]

15 Freedom Movement members presented themselves as candidates and only 4 of them made it through initial vetting, 3 of whom were excluded before polling day. The organization announced its intention to withdraw from the election. The election was boycotted by the National Front and Nation Party.[6]


Both conservatives and reformers claimed a 70 percent majority after the first round and also claimed independents as supporters.[7]

Salam newspaper

According to Salam, Executives of Construction and Imam's Line Groups won shared 120 parliamentary seats.[8]

Adelkhah (1999)
Faction Seats
Right90 to 100
Executives of Construction70 to 80
Leftabout 40
Source: Adelkhah[9]
Nohlen et al (2001)
In the following table, the Independents are counted as "allies".
Party Seats +/–
Combatant Clergy Association and allies110–40
Combatant Clerics of Tehran and allies80+80
Executives of Construction Party and allies80New
Source: Nohlen et al.[2]
Kazemzadeh (2008)
Faction Seats
Right-wing hardliners150
Rafsanjani and Executives of Construction15–60
Left-wing coalition of Imam's Line30
Source: Kazemzadeh[10]


The newly elected Majlis met for the first time on 1 June.[4]


  1. 1 2 "1996 Parliamentary Election", The Iran Social Science Data Portal, Princeton University, retrieved 10 August 2015
  2. 1 2 3 Nohlen, Dieter; Grotz, Florian; Hartmann, Christof (2001). "Iran". Elections in Asia: A Data Handbook. I. Oxford University Press. pp. 68, 74. ISBN 0-19-924958-X.
  3. 1 2 3 Iran IPU
  4. 1 2 Elections held in 1996 IPU
  5. Beheshti, Ebrahim (4 January 2016) [14 Dey 1394]. "گزارش "ایران" از صف‌آرایی گروه‌های سیاسی در ۹ دوره انتخابات مجلس" (in Persian) (6116). Iran. 109221. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  6. "IRAN", Human Rights Watch World Report 1997: Events of 1996, Human Rights Watch, 1996, p. 282, ISBN 9781564322074
  7. Guy Engelman (2 February 2000), "A Background to Iran's Forthcoming Majlis Elections", The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (PolicyWatch) (436), retrieved 29 August 2017
  8. Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Iran: The National Kargozaran-Sazandegi Party; political view, its leaders, branches, and participation in any election in Iran (1998), 19 February 2002, IRN38586.E, available at: [accessed 10 June 2016]
  9. Fariba Adelkhah (1999), Being Modern in Iran, CERI series in comparative politics and international studies, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, p. 85
  10. Masoud Kazemzadeh (2008), "Intra-Elite Factionalism and the 2004 Majles Elections in Iran", Middle Eastern Studies, 44 (2): 189–214, doi:10.1080/00263200701874867 via Taylor and Francis Online (subscription required)
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