Huge turnout of people reinforces national power, security: Rouhani

IRNA – Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani said on Friday morning that huge turnout of people in the ongoing local and presidential elections will strengthen national authority and security.

He told reporters after casting his vote in the presidential and local elections.

All should help the elected president the day after elections with unity and consolidation, Rouhani added.

‘The people will determine the destiny of their country by attending the polling stations,’ he said.

“Massive turnout of people paves the way of progress for the country,’ the presidential candidate noted.

‘We are moving towards a new century according to the Iranian calendar and we should get prepared for it.’

Rouhani said that the elections are also effective on Iran’s stance in the region and the world.

The presidential hopeful underlined the importance of respecting the law in the elections and also administering the country.

Voting stations opened in Iran at 8am local time (03:30am GMT) on Friday for the 12th presidential and the fifth city and village councils elections in about 63,500 polling stations.

In addition to the 12th presidential election and the fifth city and village councils election, by-election is also being held in the cities of Isfahan (in Isfahan province), Maragheh, Ahar, Heris (in East Azarbaijan province), Ajabshir, Bastak, Parsian and Bandar Lengeh (in Hormuzgan province ) to elect representatives for a number of vacant parliament seats.

For the presidential competition, the candidates are incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, the Custodian of Imam Reza (AS) Holy Shrine Ebrahim Raeisi and former minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mostafa Aqa Mirsalim and former Minister of Physical Education Mostafa Hashemi Taba.

First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri and Mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf were other presidential candidates who quitted the presidential race to support their favorite candidates (Rouhani and Raeisi, respectively).

Polling stations are open from 8am until 7pm local time (3:30am to 2:30pm GMT) although authorities have announced that the country’s 63,500 polling stations could extend their voting time if necessary.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution which led to the fall of the Pahlavi regime, Iran has held one election each year on average, all of which have witnessed large turnout of the people.

Over 56 million Iranians are eligible to vote in Iran’s 12th presidential elections, according to the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry.

Out of the total eligible voters over 1.3 million are those who vote for the first time.

Some 66.7 percent of respondents to a survey carried out by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on May 7-8 said they will participate in Iran’s May 19 presidential elections.

Presidential election is also being held in 102 countries.

Some 570 international journalists from 42 countries are covering the event in Iran.