Iranians began voting in the early hours of Friday in a contest among 4 candidates in the 13th presidential elections and also for the 6th Islamic city and village council elections across the country, news.am informs, citing Fars.
Iran presidential election voting kicks off
STEPANAKERT , JUNE 18, ARTSAKHPRESS: State television showed people's presence at polling stations in several cities and towns, quoting officials that over 59 million Iranians out of the more than 85 million people are eligible to vote.
Officials have said that over 75,000 voting stations receive people's votes all over the country.
Ballot counting will start at midnight, and preliminary results are expected within 24 hours of polls closing. The elections are also for city and village councils.
Commander of Iran’s Law Enforcement Police Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari said that over 600,000 police forces will be deployed in the country’s cities and towns to protect security of the presidential elections.
The Iranian interior ministry on May 25 declared the names of 7 hopefuls qualified by Iran’s vetting body, the Guardian Council, to run in the presidential race.
These candidates included Iran’s Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezayee, Iranian reformist politician and former Governor of Isfahan Province Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh, former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Saeed Jalili, Iranian Member of the Parliament Alireza Zakani, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati, and Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Seyed Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi.
Several candidates, including former Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan and former Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi, dropped out of the race in Rayeesi’s favor before the Guardian Council declared its decision on their qualification.
Rayeesi appears to be the front-runner among four candidates running for president in Iran, according to the polls.