June 15, 2013

IRAN: High Turnout in Election Shows People's Trust in Voting System

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Iran's Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi underlined that participation of over 70% of eligible voters in Iran's presidential election on Friday displayed that Iranian people have deep trust in the Islamic Republic's electoral process.

"The partnership of people from all walks of life (in the presidential election) showed that the Iranian people trust the electoral system of the country and consider the Islamic Republic as one of the most clean and trustworthy systems," Naqdi said in Tehran on Saturday.

His remarks came in response to the foreign media claims on election fraud in 2009 presidential election in which outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the voting but the Iranian people showed the incorrectness of such allegations by their 64% turnout in the last parliamentary election and their over 70% participation rate in yesterday's presidential election.

Naqdi stressed that the Iranians' massive turnout in the presidential election also proved the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the western sanctions against Iran which were aimed at creating division between the country's people and the ruling system.

The 11th presidential and the 4th city and village councils elections were held at 66,285 polling stations in Iran and 96 other world countries on Friday.

Campaigning for the June 14 presidential election kicked off in Iran on May 22 after the Guardian Council released the list of 8 qualified candidates, although only 6 remained in the race.

The qualified candidates represented a wide range of political streams from Principlists to reformists.

A number of 50,470,000 people were eligible to vote in the elections. 1.6 million youths came to be eligible to vote for the first time in their lives as the voting age in Iran is above 18 according to the law.

Early poll results said Hassan Rouhani, the former Iranian nuclear negotiator, is running ahead of the other candidates in Iran's 11th presidential election.

Iran's election headquarters announced on Saturday that Rouhani has 3,219,322 votes out of a total of 6,387,317 counted.

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