Interior Ministry Seeks Maximum Voter Turnout

Interior Ministry Seeks Maximum Voter TurnoutInterior Ministry Seeks Maximum Voter Turnout

A senior official said the Interior Ministry would make tireless efforts to boost turnout in the Feb. 26 elections for the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts.

Speaking in a joint meeting of the Election Headquarters' officials with media directors on Sunday, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said contributing to efforts to have more popular elections is of top importance.

"People's participation would strengthen the foundations of Iran's sovereignty and advance its national interests," IRNA quoted him as saying.

Fazli touched upon the vetting process of Majlis nominees, saying the ministry has engaged in consultations with the Guardians Council, the body tasked with supervising elections, to help prepare the ground for hopefuls to compete in the two February races.

"We believe that necessary conditions should be created for a competition to take shape and there can be rivalries in all constituencies," he said.

Beginning the process of vetting candidates, the Executive Boards, under the supervision of the Interior Ministry, evaluated the qualifications of a record 12,123 hopefuls for Majlis elections and approved 90%.

Then the Election Monitoring Board, under the supervision of the Guardians Council, carried out the second round of vetting and released an initial report on qualifications on January 5, which showed 40% of candidates were qualified.

Finally, the monitoring board announced last Saturday that an additional 1,500 hopefuls have been cleared to run in the vote, along with 4,800 who were previously approved, bringing the total number to 6,300 that mean 55% are approved.

There are 290 seats in the Majlis distributed between 207 electoral districts.

On the other hand, 31 constituencies would elect 88 theologians for the Assembly of Experts, a body tasked with choosing the Leader of the Islamic Republic and overseeing his performance.

The final list of qualified Majlis candidates will be released on February 16 and they would be able to canvass for votes from February 18 to 25, while the final list for Assembly of Experts was published on February 10 and the approved candidates could start their campaign on February 11.