Iranians set to head for presidential, city and village council polls

Iranians set to head for presidential, city and village council polls

Iranians will also choose members of Iran’s City and Village Councils in separate elections on the same day.

The electorate will head to the polls on Friday to choose among incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raeisi, who has served in different capacities at the Iranian Judiciary, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, a current member of Iran’s Expedience Council, and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, a former vice president.

On Tuesday, Es’haq Jahangiri, the Iranian first vice president and presidential candidate, dropped out of the race to increase Rouhani’s chances of victory.

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Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf had done so earlier in favor of Raeisi.

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The Iranian interior minister said the voters can cast their ballots at more than 63,000 stations, and that about 1.5 million staffers, 70,000 monitors and 350,000 security enforcement personnel will be assisting with the election process.

The candidates are also allowed to assign a representative to each polling station to observe the proceedings there.

As many as 200 million ballots have been printed by Iran’s Bank Melli using the type of paper used in printing out traveler’s checks, he said.

The minister added that the ballot papers bear 14 types of codes, and, therefore, cannot be either independently produced or copied. “The ballot papers are now quarantined,” Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said, and hoped that such measures would help avoid any voting irregularities.

The number of security forces can be enhanced if need be, said Rahmani-Fazli, giving assurances that the authorities are closely monitoring the circumstances.

In a Wednesday press conference, Rahmani-Fazli called on the candidates, who have publicly announced their withdrawal from the race, to make this official by noon local time (07:30 a.m. GMT) so they could be removed from the final list of hopefuls.

Wednesday, he said, marks the last day of campaigning, adding that any more electioneering would be considered illegal as of tomorrow.

The voting is to begin at 08:00 a.m. local time (03:30 a.m. GMT) on Friday, according to Rahmani-Fazli.

“As long as people turn up before ballot boxes and are not legally prohibited from voting, we are going to be at their service,” he added.

He, meanwhile, said 95 percent of the opinion polls predicting the outcome of the elections do not follow any rules.

It is worthy to mention that Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic used to maintain that the pillar of Islamic rule is based on mutual trust between the people and competent leadership. Imam advised elected candidates to undertake serious efforts to solve problems facing the society and insisted on serving masses on oppressed classes of the nation.

“If they call me a servant, it is better than being called a leader. Leadership is not what matters; what matters is service; Islam has made it necessary for us to serve... I am a brother to the Iranian people and regard myself as their servant and soldier... In Islam, one-thing rules and that is the law. Law also ruled during the time of the honorable Prophet; He was the implementer,” Imam Khomeini said in one of his messages.

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Imam Khomeini sought massive turnout in elections 



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