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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Iran’s presidential election underway


Voting for Iran’s 14th presidential election began at 8 am local time on Friday, following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last month, media reports said.

“We start the elections,” for the country’s 14th presidential election, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in a televised address.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his ballot at a polling station in Tehran in the first minutes of voting in the snap presidential elections, a Mehr News Agency (MNA) report said.

Iranians are voting for their next president following the tragic helicopter crash of late President Ebrahim Raeisi.

According to MNA reports, Iran’s Election Headquarters has established over 58,000 polling stations nationwide.

Speaking to reporters after casting his ballot at a polling station in Tehran, Hosseinieh Imam Khomeini, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, urged Iranians to turn out in large numbers to vote. He called it a “definite necessity” for the country, the MNA said.

The Islamic Republic requires a significant increase in voter turnout and voter numbers, Hosseinieh Imam Khomeini told the media.

Iran’s election headquarters announced that up to 6,14,52,321 people are eligible to vote in the snap presidential polls, MNA reported.

Four candidates on the ballot include reformist former Health Minister Masoud Pezeshkian and three conservatives: former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, and former interior minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, listed in the declining order of popularity according to opinion polls, a Sputnik report stated.

Two hardline candidates, vice-president Amirhossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi and Tehran mayor Alireza Zakani, quit the race less than 24 hours ahead of the voting in favor of Ghalibaf and Jalili.

“In the essence of this system, the presence of the people is taken into account. Also, the durability of the Islamic Republic and its honour and reputation in the world depend on the presence of the people,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

According to Sputnik reports, the first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, has been acting as interim president since the untimely death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 19. A second round of voting will take place on July 5, if necessary.

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