High Voter Turnout Helps Achieve Nat’l Goals

High Voter Turnout Helps Achieve Nat’l GoalsHigh Voter Turnout Helps Achieve Nat’l Goals

President Hassan Rouhani called for a high turnout in the forthcoming parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, noting that it will be vital to achieving national development goals.

"People's participation in the polls will be extremely helpful," Rouhani said. "Nothing should kill off our hope and we should never turn our back on ballot boxes."

The president was addressing members of the Cabinet and government officials in a ceremony to pay tribute to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, and renew allegiance to his ideals at his mausoleum south of Tehran on Sunday, a day before the beginning of Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies marking the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

International sanctions against Tehran were lifted on Jan. 16 in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear program under the July 14 nuclear agreement with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), which was the outcome of about two years of negotiations.

"If it had not been for people's widespread participation in the 2013 presidential election, the victory in nuclear negotiations and end of sanctions could not have been achieved," the president was quoted as saying by IRNA.

"People should keep following that path and turn up at the polls under any condition to vote for the most qualified to sit in the Assembly of Experts and the Majlis."

The votes are scheduled to be held concurrently on February 26.

The Guardians Council, a clerical body charged with vetting candidates for any election, has reportedly disqualified a high proportion of those who registered to run for the February votes.

The council is now considering the appeal by some of the rejected candidates, which include prominent figures such as Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, a grandson of Imam Khomeini, who is seeking election to the 88-seat assembly.

"The Guardians Council is expected to exude greater hope among the people by providing more freedom and power of choice to see a more competitive elections on February 26," Rouhani said.