Publishe Date: 10:51 AM - 6/14/2013 | Print

Presidential Voting Starts in Iran

Politics - Iranian voters started casting their ballots at 8 am local time (3:30 GMT) on Friday to elect their president for the next four years.

People throughout the country will also cast their ballots to elect members of city and village councils concurrent with the presidential election today. Voting will last 10 hours and polls close at 6 pm, but voting hours could be extended if necessary. Ballot counting will start at 24:00 tonight and final results will be announced in the next 24 hours after the election.

Campaigning for today's presidential election kicked off in Iran on May 22 after the Guardian Council released the list of 8 qualified candidates, although 6 have remained in the race now. Campaigning ended at 8:00 local time on June 13.

The qualified candidates represent a wide range of political streams from Principlists to reformers.

There are now 6 candidates left in the race after two of them quitted. They include Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Iranian Foreign Minister and Supreme Leader's top advisor for international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, former SNSC Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani, former Oil and Telecommunication Minister Seyed Mohammad Qarazi, and former Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee.

According to presidential election laws, all Iranian nationals above 18 years of age are eligible to vote.

Iranian voters will go to over 66,000 polling stations inside and outside the country today to elect their next president.

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced in May that his ministry is fully prepared to hold the election and has set up 1040 executive committees for the upcoming elections throughout the country.

"The preparation of over 66,000 polling stations inside the country and 285 polling stations abroad are underway to collect people's vote in a massive and energetic turnout (that they will have) on Khordad 24 (June 14)," Najjar stated at the time.

Observers predict a high turnout similar to previous elections in the Islamic Republic in the post-revolution era.

The next president of the country will be elected if one of the four vote-getters manages to secure 50 percent plus one of the votes, otherwise, a runoff between the two top contenders will determine the next president.

FNA will inform you of early election results on Saturday.

 

 

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