Not much attention is being paid to the Iranian elections in the west. In the U.S. the press is much too busy following the ins and outs of the Republican primaries. Press coverage tends to ignore the issues and simply point out that few liberals are running. They are either declared ineligible or in some cases are under house arrest!
The middle class and university westernised types are alienated from the process. They are not even expected to hold enough demonstrations to attract western media coverage. Nevertheless the elections are still important because there is a struggle between those who support president Ahmadinejad and those who support the Supreme Leader Khamenei.
The main conflict in the election is between the Resistance Front bloc of President Ahmidinejad and the United Front of Supreme Leader Khamenei. Ahmadiniejad is disliked by many conservative religious leaders. The system is designed to frustrate any strong dissent from the status quo as the Committee to Protect Journalists said:"That the government's repression is intensifying before an election underscores its disregard for the basic rights of its people," Two journalists had been arrested and many people prevented from accessing the internet.
The regime is hoping for a large turnout in the hopes this will give the regime more legitimacy. Official sources say that there are 3,400 candidates running for 290 seats. This however is a decline from the last election! For more see this article.