Tasnim – Iran’s interior minister on Wednesday dismissed the figures in opinion polls on Friday’s presidential election, saying almost all of the surveys are invalid and fabricated.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called on journalists, the candidates’ campaign members, and organizations to ignore the rumors about popularity of the candidates in surveys, which he said are spread as part of a “psychological war.”
“At the present time, various opinion polls are being released in public spaces and in the news, more than ninety-five percent of which are illegal, inauthentic, and fully fabricated,” he said.
The minister then made it clear that electoral campaigns and electioneering will be banned as of Thursday morning, urging the candidates to abide by the rules.
As regards the process of announcement of election results, Rahmani Fazli said they will be declared once the vote counts are finalized, noting that the rule forbids piecemeal release of ballot counts.
The minister said gradual release of the results in the previous elections caused some problems.
When the results of vote counts in different provinces were released intermittently, the number of votes of candidates swung remarkably, he explained, arguing that such swinging numbers resulted in misunderstandings and speculations.
Any view or information on the final results in the form of surveys, exit polls or other incorrect data will be “in contravention of the rules”, the minister added, saying violators will be prosecuted.
There are currently four candidates running for presidency, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim. Two other hopefuls, Eshaq Jahangiri and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, have dropped out of the race in favor of Rouhani and Raisi, respectively.
Polling stations for the 12th presidential election, the 5th City and Village Councils elections, and the Parliament’s mid-term elections in Iran will open at 8 a.m. Friday.
Authorities say the number of eligible voters in the Friday elections stands at more than 56,400,000.