Iranians Go to Polls to Pick President

Iranians Go to Polls to Pick President
Iranians Go to Polls to Pick President

Polling stations opened on Friday morning at 7 a.m. local time for the 13th presidential election when millions of Iranians turned out to choose the successor to President Hassan Rouhani. 
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his ballot at 7 a.m. sharp and called on people to go to the polls as early as possible, IRNA reported.
“Today, the public are at the helm of the scene to determine their fate and the country’s general direction for the next years,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated. “Therefore, today belongs to the people.”
Pointing out that every vote matters, the Leader said, “Human wisdom dictates that everyone should participate in this huge national and nationwide test.”
Ayatollah Khamenei noted that voting first and foremost benefits the public and it also gives the Islamic Republic an edge in the international scene. 
Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani also chose the early hours of Friday to cast his vote and said, “This election is extremely significant. I’m asking people to go to polling stations and vote for their preferred candidate.”
“I hope the public fulfill their duty to the nation, the revolution and religion,” the top official added. “God willing, we will make our friends across the world happy and our enemies disappointed.”
The Guardian Council, Iran’s top vetting body, approved the qualifications of seven presidential candidates. 
Three dropped out of the race in favor of other candidates, leaving four: Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi, former governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnasser Hemmati, secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei and the parliament’s first deputy speaker, Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi.
Voting continues until 12 p.m. and it can be extended two hours past midnight to prevent crowding during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rouhani said, “I ask [the polling staff] to pay attention to preserving the public’s health in all stages of the election.”
Authorities have increased the number of polling places to curb the chances of coronavirus transmission.


Election Results

Final result of the presidential election is scheduled to be announced before midday Saturday, head of the Election Headquarters, Jamal Orf, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Concurrently with the presidential election, Iran is holding city and village councils’ elections throughout the country. Several provinces are also holding midterm parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections to fill vacant seats.
Orf said, “Result of the presidential election will be announced first, followed by results of the midterm Assembly of Experts elections, midterm parliamentary elections and city and village councils.”
According to Orf, announcement of the results could be postponed if there is a need for recount in some of the polling stations.
Pointing to electronic voter identification machines placed in polling stations, the official said, “No one can vote more than once. Due to the coronavirus, we have also omitted stamping.”
Nearly 60 million people were eligible to vote in the 2021 presidential poll, with 1.392 million of them first-time voters.

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