Campaigning began in Iran on Thursday for parliamentary elections to take place on March 2, with officials and state media calling for a big turnout to counter the \"enemies\' threats\" against the regime. It will be the Islamic republic\'s first national poll since the controversial 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A total of 3,444 vetted candidates are vying for the 290 seats in the parliament, known as the Majlis. Conservatives, who dominate the outgoing legislature, are expected to secure most of the seats despite being scattered across several lists because of the lack of any broad alliance uniting the various factions. The main reformist blocs have been banned or have decided to boycott the elections to protest against the severe crackdown against their supporters following Ahmadinejad\'s re-election. Authorities, concerned about the risk of many voters staying away from polling stations because of the reduced choice of candidates, have multiplied calls for a large turnout to show they enjoy public support. \"By participating in the legislative elections, the Iranian people who turned out in their millions (during February 11 commemorations of Iran\'s 1979 Islamic revolution) will land another hard blow on the enemy,\" the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday.