Leader: Iranian Nation Great Winner of Elections
TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei lauded the Iranian people for participation in the Friday presidential and city and village councils elections, calling the nation as the great winner of the voting.
“The great and proud nation of Iran! Your epic and exciting presence in the June 18 elections added another brilliant page to your honors. Among the elements that could somehow diminish turnout, the spectacular scenery of your gatherings at the polling stations across the country was a clear sign of firm determination and a hopeful and watchful heart,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in his message on Saturday.
“The great winner of yesterday's election is the Iranian nation which once again stood up against the propaganda of the enemy's mercenary media and the temptation of the simple-minded and ill-wishers, and showed its presence in the heart of the country's political arena. Neither grievances about the hardships of the weaker classes, nor concerns for the threat of an epidemic disease, the dissent that began months ago to discourage the people, and even some disturbances in the voting process during some hours of the election day, could overcome the Iranian nation’s determination and cause problems for the important presidential and city and village councils,” he added.
He felicitated the winning candidates in the presidential and city and village councils elections, and appreciated the Guardians Council, the interior ministry, the security forces and the media for their assistance in holding healthy elections.
Preliminary results of the Friday presidential elections in Iran showed that Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi has already secured a win in the race, the interior ministry announced.
“Mr. Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, has gained more than 17 million and eight hundred thousand votes, Mr. Mohsen Rezayee garnered more than 3 million and three hundred thousand votes, Mr. Abdol Nasser Hemmati earned more than two million and four hundred thousand votes and Mr. Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi gained more than a million votes until this moment,” Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Jamal Orf said on Saturday.
He added that some 28.6 million votes have so far been counted that is around 90% of the votes cast in this election.
Orf said he was not offering precise figures because vote counting was still going on, adding that he was merely providing preliminary updates.
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 closed in Iran’s 2021 presidential election after 19 hours of voting nationwide and in various foreign countries.
Voting stopped at 02:00 am local time on Saturday (June 19), 19 hours after they opened across the country at 07:00 am on Friday, June 18.
Any voters happening to still be inside polling stations and waiting to cast their vote were able to do so, however.
Polling was extended several times to accommodate incoming voters and to observe health protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vote counting has begun. And the Interior Ministry is expected to start announcing election results gradually as ballots are counted.
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 went 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 appeared to be the front-runner among four candidates running for president in Iran, according to the polls before elections.