Publishe Date: 1:25 PM - 6/14/2013 | Print

Velayati: People's Votes Show Continued Public Support for Islamic Republic

Politics - Presidential Candidate Ali Akbar Velayati said people's turnout in today's elections shows their continued support for the Islamic Republic political system.

"I request the entire Iranian nation to come to the ballot boxes enthusiastically and elect their favorite candidate since people's participation in the presidential and (city and village) councils elections is a reaffirmation of their support for the Islamic Republic ruling system," said the former Iranian foreign minister Friday morning after casting his vote.

The presidential election hopeful stressed that the choice of the Iranian nation would be respected by everyone. "People's vote is the criteria".

Velayati, who is now the Supreme Leader's top advisor for international affairs, also promised that he would be at the service of anyone whom the people would vote for, noting, "All of us, the candidates, are committed to serve the noble Iranian nation as a president or at any other post."

The 11th Presidential and 4th City & Village Councils elections started across the country at 08:00 hours Tehran's time (0330 GMT) Friday.

Voting will last 10 hours and polling stations close at 6 pm, although voting hours could be extended if necessary. Counting of the ballots will start at 24:00 on Friday and final results will be announced in the following 24 hours.

Presidential campaign for today's election kicked off on May 22 after the Guardian Council released the list of 8 qualified candidates - although 6 have remained in the race now - and ended at 8:00 local time on Thursday.

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

In addition to Rouhani, 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 Oil and Telecommunication Minister Seyed Mohammad Qarazi, and former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander and Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezayee are fighting for the presidential post today.

The elections started at some 60,000 polling stations nationwide this morning and are simultaneously being held in 96 world countries.

Over 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the presidential election.

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