2021-August-2 17:28
Politics
2021-June-19  01:13

Iran: Polling Extended for Last Time

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Elections Headquarters announced that the voting time for the 13th presidential election has been extended till 2am Saturday morning.

Iranian Elections Headquarters announced on Friday the time of voting across the country has been extended for another two hours until 2am after the decision was endorsed by the Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.

“With respect to the public turnout in the 13th presidential, 6th round of city and village Islamic councils, and parliamentary and Assembly of Experts mid-term elections, and after it was agreed by the interior minister, voting for the elections has been extended across the country for two more hours until 2am,” the announcement read.

The voting hours had already been extended several times.

Iranians began voting in the early hours of Friday in a contest among 4 candidates in the 13th presidential elections and also for the 6th Islamic city and village council elections across the country.

State television showed people's presence at polling stations in several cities and towns, quoting officials that over 59 million Iranians out of the more than 85 million population are eligible to vote.

Polls close in at 12:00 midnight although the interior ministry has been allowed to extend voting hours until 2:00 am on Saturday to prevent overcrowding due to high turnout. Ballot counting will start at midnight and preliminary results are expected within 24 hours of polls closing. The elections are also for city and village councils.

For Iranians, the most pressing domestic issue is the economy. In addition, COVID-19 is still a serious problem for Iran.

In addition to presidential elections, people are going to the polls to participate in the 6th Islamic city and village council elections across the country as well as midterm Assembly of Experts elections in 4 provinces, including Tehran, Khorassan Razavi, Qom and Mazandaran, and midterm parliament elections in several provinces, including Tehran, East Azerbaijan, Gilan, Markazi, Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad and Hamedan.

The Iranian interior ministry on May 25 declared the names of 7 hopefuls qualified by Iran’s vetting body, the Guardian Council, to run in the presidential race.

The 7 approved candidates included Iran’s Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezayee, Iranian reformist politician and former Governor of Isfahan Province Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh, former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Saeed Jalili, Iranian Member of the Parliament Alireza Zakani, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati and Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Seyed Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi.

The disapproved candidates had the opportunity to protest at their disqualification vote and the qualified candidates could start their campaign as of May 25 until 24 hours before elections.

Several candidates, including former Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan and former Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi, dropped out of the race in Rayeesi’s favor before the Guardian Council declared its decision on their qualification.

In the past few days, Alireza Zakani and Saeed Jalili announced their pullout from the Friday presidential election in favor of Ebrahim Rayeesi, while Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh declared his withdrawal in support of the main reformist-moderate camp nominee Abdolnasser Hemmati.

Rayeesi appears to be the front-runner among four candidates running for president in Iran, according to the polls.