Polling stations across Iran opened on Friday morning for the 13th presidential election, the 6th City and Village Councils elections, as well as the Parliament and the Assembly of Experts’ midterm election.
Polling stations across Iran opened at 7 am local time and will continue to receive voters until midnight. The Interior Ministry says it may extend the election period until 2 am Saturday if necessary.
Iranians have headed to the polls as soon as the stations opened to elect the country’s new president, Tasnim news agency reported.
Presidential candidates include Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei Mirqaed, Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, MP Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh, and former CBI Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati.
Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Mehralizadeh and Alireza Zakani, three other presidential candidates, dropped out of the presidential race, according to Mehr news agency.
More than 59,310,000 eligible voters can take part in the ongoing elections, more than 1,392,000 of whom are allowed to vote for the first time.
Around 3.5 million Iranian expatriates are also eligible to vote in 133 diplomatic missions of the Islamic Republic in the foreign countries.
The City and Village Councils elections in the capitals of 24 provinces, except in Tehran, are being held with electronic ballot boxes.
Forces from the Police, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Basij are tasked with ensuring security of the election.
Officials Cast Ballot
President Hasan Rouhani and front-runner in the elections Ebrahim Raisi casted their ballots on Friday morning, Iranian media reported.
Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf also voted, as he described election as “the most important political and social capital of the country, giving the country a depth and sustainability in security and power”.
He pointed to the economic problems hitting the country and said that people should not avoid voting because of those problems, as voting is the only way to solve them, IRNA news agency reported.
For his part, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on a trip to Turkey, cast his vote in the 13th presidential in a voting center in Antalya Friday morning.
Source: Iranian media