Election Officials Discuss Preparations

Election Officials Discuss Preparations
Election Officials Discuss Preparations

Members of the Interior Ministry's Election Headquarters convened for the first time to discuss preparations for the three upcoming votes scheduled concurrently on May 19.

Interior Ministry Spokesman Salman Samani made the announcement in Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

Members to the headquarters were appointed by Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli last Tuesday. Ali Asghar Ahmadi, deputy interior minister for political affairs, chairs the headquarters and Ali Pourali Motlaq, Interior Ministry's director general for elections affairs, serves as its secretary.

Samani quoted Rahmani-Fazli as saying in the meeting that efforts should be made to ensure "full coordination within the ministry for holding healthy, secure, fair and glorious elections."

The presidential, city council and mid-term parliamentary elections will be held concurrently on May 19. Guardians Council, the watchdog for all Iranian elections, except the city council, has also established the Election Oversight Committee for presidential polls. The committee is led by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the council.

Hopefuls for the presidential race should sign up from April 11 to 15. Those who successfully pass the vetting process conducted by the Guardians Council will have 20 days to conduct their electoral campaigns from April 28 to May 17.

The registration period for midterm Majlis elections in four constituencies will be held from February 26 to March 4 and would-be lawmakers will have May 11-17 to canvass for votes.

Registration for the city council votes in over 1,200 cities and 39,000 villages will take one week from March 20 to 26, but Majlis and Interior Ministry have agreed to expedite the process and start registrations on March 13, as the previous date coincided with Iran's Norouz (New Year) holidays (March 21-April 2). The campaigning period for city council hopefuls is the same as midterm parliamentary votes (May 11-17).

The Interior Ministry has announced that training courses are underway for over 1,200,000 election officials and workers.

  E-Voting for Presidential Polls

The head of Election Headquarters said members of the headquarters also discussed efforts and obstacles to replace ballot boxes with electronic voting machines in the presidential elections.

Samani also told Mizan Online last Saturday that the body is still negotiating with the Guardians Council on the issue.

Security concerns prevented e-voting in this year's Majlis elections, which helps minimize irregularities, cut costs and accelerate counting of ballots.

A special parliamentary board, comprising three members of the Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission and two from Majlis Article 90 Commission, is tasked with vetting its candidates and overseeing the city council elections. The board has announced that voting machines will be employed in one-sixth of the polling stations across the country for city council votes, the total number of which is 66,000, covering one-third of eligible voters.


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