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Iranians vote in key presidential poll
June 14, 2013, 8:35 am


An Iranian clergyman casts his ballot during the presidential election at a polling station near Tehran [AP]

Millions of Iranians will cast their ballots today in the country’s presidential elections.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voted at his office in Tehran and opened the poll on Friday morning.

The election will decide a successor to the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and voters can choose from a list of six candidates.

The candidates are Hassan Rouhani, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaii, Ali Akbar Velayati and Seied Mohammad Gharazi.

Khamenei urged Iranians to actively take part in the election, saying “it is important that everybody participates” and their participation will “determine the fate of the country.”

The enemies intended to “discourage the Iranian people” so that “they would not attend the polling stations,” said the leader, emphasising that “the Iranians disregard of the enemies’ attempts follow their own expedience.”

The Iranian leader dismissed comments from a US official on the credibility of the Iranian poll and said that “it is not significant that you do not accept Iran’s election.”

In an earlier message, Khamenei called on the Iranians to create a “political epic” by their “big turn-out” in the election.

Nearly 50.5 million eligible voters can cast a ballot for the candidates qualified by Iran’s Guardian Council of Constitution, according to Iran’s interior ministry.

The ministry also said that 60,000 polling stations have been set up for the election nationwide.

According to Iranian media forecasts, turnout will be above 60 per cent.

A runoff will be held on June 21 if no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote.

Iranian citizens living abroad will be able to cast their ballot at 290 polling stations in 96 countries.

With inputs from Agencies

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