Gov't Bolstered by Strong Voter Turnout

Gov't Bolstered by Strong Voter TurnoutGov't Bolstered by Strong Voter Turnout

President Hassan Rouhani hailed Iranians for their supportive votes in the parliamentary and the Assembly of Experts polls last Friday, which provided his government with further "credibility" and authority to carry through reform plans.

"The people showed great discretion once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government," Rouhani was quoted as saying by IRNA in a statement late on Saturday.

The partial tally of the votes cast in the assembly race announced on Sunday showed Rouhani finished third while his ally Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani topped the list.

The assembly has the crucial task of appointing, monitoring and if necessary, removing the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Among the top three candidates representing rival conservatives, only one, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, was placed 15th to occupy one of the last Tehran's 16 seats while the assembly's current chairman, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, and another member Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi failed their reelection bids.

In the Majlis vote, pro-Rouhani moderates and reformists secured an absolute victory against conservatives by winning all the 30 parliamentary seats allocated to Tehran, the country's main constituency. Rouhani said his government is open to cooperation from any elected candidate eager to help build the future of the country.

"Whatever the outcome of the elections, it has enhanced the Islamic Republic's international standing," he said.

"Now that the competition is over, it is time for close collaboration between the government and the nation to rebuild the economy by exploiting domestic capabilities and the opportunity for attracting foreign investment."

The implementation of a nuclear deal with major powers last month has raised the prospect of a buoyant economy by removing international sanctions that had for years kept foreign businesses and investors out of the untapped Iranian market.

  Exemplary Harmony

Ayatollah Rafsanjani echoed Rouhani's remarks, calling on all factions and individuals to have the dignity to accept the results of the polls.

"We need to build on the exemplary harmony triggered by the elections. Whatever the results, elections are now over and belong to the past. Everybody should avoid raising divisive issues," he said.

"The post-elections era is a time for endeavor to develop the country."

Rafsanjani, who is among the leading advocates of the Islamic Republic and was its president from 1989-97, is well known for his pragmatism and political acumen. Pointing to the latest developments in the region, the senior cleric praised the UN-brokered ceasefire agreed by the warring sides in the conflict-riven Syria.

"Efforts should be made to sustain the truce to ultimately bring an end to the war by breaking the terrorists' resistance," he said.

International efforts led by the United States and Russia aimed at completing a diplomatic process leading to the establishment of an inclusive transitional Syrian government in two years, received a major boost after the parties involved agreed to cease fighting as of last Saturday.