Ministry Making Arrangements for May Elections

Ministry Making Arrangements for May ElectionsMinistry Making Arrangements for May Elections

With less than five months left until the three incoming polls, the body in charge of organizing them, Interior Ministry, is busy making preparations.

The presidential, city council and mid-term parliamentary elections will be held concurrently on May 19.

In a decree issued on Wednesday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli appointed his deputy for political affairs, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, as the head of Election Headquarters for the presidential vote, ISNA reported.

Ahmadi had also been appointed on Tuesday as the head of Election Headquarters for the city council elections. Guardians Council, the watchdog for all Iranian elections except the city council, has also established the election oversight committee for presidential polls.

The committee will be led by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the council. The Interior Ministry has announced that training courses are underway for over 1,200,000 election officials.

Candidates for the next presidential elections can sign up from April 11 to 15 and those who successfully pass the vetting process of the Guardians Council will have 20 days to mount their electoral campaigns, from April 28 to May 17.

The registration period for midterm Majlis elections, which will be held in four constituencies, is from February 26 to March 4.

Would-be lawmakers will also have May 11-17 to canvass for votes.

Finally, candidates for the city council votes will have one week to sign up from March 20 to 26 and their campaign period is May 11-17.

A special board of Majlis lawmakers tasked with overseeing the city council votes and vetting its candidates has announced that ballot boxes will be replaced by voting machines in one-sixth of the polling stations across the country, the total number of which is 66,000, covering one-third of eligible voters.

But the Guardians Council has not yet approved an Interior Ministry proposal on e-polling in presidential elections.

Salman Samani, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told Mizan news agency on Saturday that the body is still negotiating with the council on the issue.

Security concerns prevented e-voting in this year's Majlis elections. It is expected to help minimize the possibility of irregularities, cut costs and accelerate the process of counting ballots.

The incumbent President Hassan Rouhani is being regarded as a clear-cut contender in the next election, and reformists have already announced their backing for his reelection.

This is while parities affiliated to the rival principlist camp are still weighing options.


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