Iran's constitutional watchdog and election overseer schedules 2016 parliament elections

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's constitutional watchdog and election overseer has scheduled the country's next parliament elections for Feb. 26, 2016.

The date was announced on Wednesday on the official website of the Guardian Council, http://www.shora-gc.ir .

The vote will be a key test for moderate President Hassan Rouhani who is looking for his allies to win the majority in the 290-seat house. The elections will also set Iran's course in the years ahead.

The council's spokesman, Nejatollah Ebrahimian, says that along with electing their lawmakers, Iranians will also be able to vote on the same date for the so-called Assembly of Experts, an 86-member body of senior clerics empowered to appoint or dismiss the country's supreme leader.

It's one of the most powerful institutions in Iran, although it doesn't involve itself in daily affairs.

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