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Interior Minister Briefs Majlis on May 19 Elections

Interior Minister Briefs Majlis on May 19 ElectionsInterior Minister Briefs Majlis on May 19 Elections

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli went to the parliament on Tuesday to give a report on the process of conducting last month's polls.

As per law, the Interior Minister is responsible for organizing the election process.

Three elections were held concurrently on May 19: the nationwide presidential and city council vote plus midterm parliamentary election in four constituencies.

Having the floor in an open parliament session, Rahmani Fazli said his ministry functioned in a way as to ensure the "security, fairness and legality" of the vote, and encouraged the people to come out and vote, IRNA reported.   

The minister said to do so, the ministry "trained over 1.5 million election workers, coordinated more than 170,000 police forces and hired 71,000 monitors."

Voter turnout was 73% as 41 million people out of the 56-million-strong electorate cast their ballots. Iran's population is 80 million.

An outright majority of voters chose to extend the mandate of incumbent Hassan Rouhani, a staunch supporter of international political engagement and liberal economic reforms.

Rouhani garnered 23.5 million votes. His main challenger Ebrahim Raeisi came a distant second with 15.7 million votes.

Over 63,000 polling stations were set up across 31 provinces and in 103 countries.

***Crucial Role

Rahmani Fazli said the elections were held at a time when widespread participation of people was crucial to improve Iran's standing and stature on the international scene.

"The most important message the 41 million voters sent to the world was that they believe in the revolution's ideals", he said, adding, "The large turnout changed regional and international calculations in our favor."

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani thanked the Interior Ministry for holding "clean" elections, but said the election process needs to be reformed to remove irregularities that occurred on May 19.

"The election law has called for the mechanization of the vote  so as to save voters' time and ensure that long queues are not formed outside the polling stations," he said, stressing the need for electronic implementation of future elections.

Shortly after the voting centers opened on May 19, media outlets said unusually long lines of voters were seen at the polling stations in mosques and schools around the capital and major cities.

Although the Interior Ministry extended the voting time by five hours, but the closure of stations by midnight reportedly prevented up to 3 million people from casting ballots.

 

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