1988 Iranian legislative election

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Iranian legislative election, 1988

← 1984 8 April and 13 May 1988 1992 →

All 270 seats of Islamic Consultative Assembly
136 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Karubi2.jpg Mahdavi Kani in 1981.jpg
Leader Mehdi Karoubi Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani
Party Association of Combatant Clerics
Combatant Clergy Association
Alliance Left Right
Leader's seat Tehran, Rey and Shemiranat Tehran, Rey and Shemiranat (defeated)
Seats won ≈160[2] ≈90[2]

Prime Minister before election

Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Elected Prime Minister

Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Ruhollah Khomeini casts his vote for Iranian legislative election, 1988.

Parliamentary elections were held in Iran on 8 April 1988, with a second round on 13 May.[3] The result was a victory for leftist politicians who later emerged as reformists.[4] The number of clerics elected to the Majlis was reduced by over a third.[5]

Electoral system[edit]

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.[6]

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.[6]


Around 1,400 candidates contested the elections, including around 30 women.[6] 188 seats were won in the first round of voting.[6] There were three main groups contesting in the elections, namely:[7][8]

Freedom Movement of Iran boycotted the elections.[9]


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Unknown 270
Invalid/blank votes 220,872
Total 17,004,403 100 270 0
Registered voters/turnout
Source: IPU


The newly elected Majlis met for the first time on 28 May, and elected Mir-Hossein Mousavi as Prime Minister on 30 June.[6]


  1. ^ a b "1988 Parliamentary Election", The Iran Social Science Data Portal, Princeton University, archived from the original on 30 May 2012, retrieved 10 August 2015
  2. ^ a b Bahman Bakhtiari (1993), "Parliamentary elections in Iran", Iranian Studies, Routledge, 24 (3–4): 375–388, doi:10.1080/00210869308701808 – via Tandfonline (subscription required), By the end of September 1989, the radicals had close to 160 supporters, around 90 deputies belonged to the pragmatists' camp, the rest were "fence-sitters."
  3. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p. 68 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  4. ^ Zandi, Mohammad Ali. "3rd Islamic Consultative Assembly elections" (in Persian). Baqir al-Ulum Research Institute. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  5. ^ James W. Heslep The Decline of Clerics in the Iranian Majles Archived 12 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c d e Iran IPU
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "تحليل هشت دوره مجلس شورای اسلامی" (in Persian). Jaam-e Jam. 24 February 2012. 671189238744517772. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  9. ^ Tom Landford (2012), "Iran", Political Handbook of the World 2012, SAGE, p. 656, ISBN 9781608719952