Conservative rivals of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are leading in the race for parliament seats according to early election results.
The conservatives’ lead was expected as the elections boiled down to a contest between conservatives supporting and opposing Ahmadinejad.
Early returns Saturday in the capital Tehran show loyalists to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have pulled ahead. Partial results from provincial towns also show conservative Ahmadinejad rivals were elected in many constituencies.
In a huge embarrassment, Parvin Ahmadinejad, a younger sister of the president, was defeated by a conservative rival in their hometown of Garmsar.
The results indicate Ahmadinejad may face a more hostile parliament in the nearly two years remaining of his second term in office.