Rouhani Tells People: Show Prudence by Voting

Rouhani Tells People: Show Prudence by VotingRouhani Tells People: Show Prudence by Voting

President Hassan Rouhani reiterated a call to the public to vote in this month's parliamentary poll, despite any frustration they might feel with the government to successfully fulfill its 2013 electoral pledges.

"I have received many letters and messages and have met people voicing grievances about the country's situation, criticizing us for being unresponsive. But I am aware of the people's problems and understand that their demands and desires have not been met," Rouhani said.

Addressing the National Congress on Moderation in Tehran on Sunday, Rouhani said he has never ignored the problems of the people, urging them to consider the bigger picture and show prudence by turning up at the polls.   

"It is vital to have foresight … If you do not vote, your children and society will suffer … We should go to the ballot box under any circumstances," he said.

The Feb. 26 parliamentary election will see Rouhani's reformist allies compete to take a larger share of the 290-seat Majlis held by conservatives.

The Guardians Council, an election vetting body comprised of clerics and jurists, on Saturday approved about 1,500 of the candidates provincial Election Monitoring Boards had initially disqualified from running for the parliament.

"We know if we vote, we will benefit, though slightly, otherwise we will definitely get hurt. So we choose a slight benefit over a definite loss."

President Rouhani said the violence prevailing in the region and a major part of international problems are rooted in extremism promoted by terrorists in the name of religion.

"Extremism is not created by force, but it originates in the mind. Some promote extremist religious ideas. They believe that outsiders and their negotiators can never be trusted … and no problem can be solved at the negotiating table and only think of war and nothing else," he said.