By Robert A. Vella
The results from two notable elections highlight the shifting fortunes of political interests around the globe.
In Iran, a country mired in religious fanaticism and marginalized by the international community since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, reformists and moderates won a momentous victory yesterday in the nation’s parliamentary elections – the first held since approval of the widely hailed nuclear weapons deal signed with six other world powers. The victory is sure to boost President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to lift Iran out of the economic and geopolitical morass it has been in over the last four decades.
In Ireland, a country hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and subsequently implemented austerity measures, the centrist coalition government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny was soundly rejected in the first round of the nation’s parliamentary elections. The Prime Minister’s own party, Fine Gael, and his more leftist coalition partner in Labour, garnered just 32 percent of the votes combined. The conservative opposition party, Fianna Fail, garnered about a quarter of the vote – a major rebound from 2011 when it led Ireland to the brink of bankruptcy. The left-wing nationalist party, Sinn Fein, finished third overall with about 14 percent of the vote.