Interior Minister Vows to Safeguard Iranians’ Votes
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli made assurances that his ministry is duty bound to protect the people’s votes in the 12th presidential election, the 5th City and Village Councils elections, and the Parliament’s midterm election.
Attending the Interior Ministry’s election headquarters in Tehran on Friday morning, Rahmani Fazli officially ordered the launch of the elections at 8:00 am local time.
Following the order, he said executive organizations in charge of monitoring and supervising the elections would definitely safeguard the people’s votes, adding that no change will occur at any stage of the elections.
The interior minister also called on the Iranian people to inform the authorities in case they witness any kind of electoral offense during the elections.
63,429 polling stations across Iran opened on Friday morning. Around 14,000 mobile ballot boxes have been also prepared for inaccessible and rural areas.
Iranians headed to the polls as soon as the stations opened to elect the country’s 8th president.
The City and Village Councils elections in 142 cities are being held with electronic ballot boxes.
Iranian expatriates in 103 countries have the chance to vote in the country’s 12th presidential election at the same time with the polls at home.
According to the Interior Ministry, the election process involves around 1.5 million executive forces and monitors, 350,000 security forces, 70,000 inspectors, and around 100,000 representatives of local governors.
Authorities say the number of eligible voters stands at above 56,400,000, more than 1,350,000 of which are allowed to vote for the first time.
More than 600 local and foreign reporters and journalist cover the news of the Friday’s election.
There are four candidates seeking presidency in the polls, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim. Two other hopefuls, Eshaq Jahangiri and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, dropped out of the race in favor of Rouhani and Raisi, respectively.
A run-off would be held a week later if none of the candidates wins a majority, which is at least 50 percent plus one vote.
During the previous polls in June 2013, President Hassan Rouhani garnered 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes.
No sitting President has failed to win a second term since 1981.