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Tens of Millions of Iranians Flock to Polls for Parliamentary Elections

26 February 2016 7:27



Iranian voters queued up at the polling stations in hotly-contested elections on Friday morning to choose their next legislators for the next four years.

Voters are standing in long queues to cast their ballots in favor of their candidates.

Authorities appeared overwhelmed by the large number of the people who began lining up even before the polling stations opened for the country’s 10th parliamentary and 5th Assembly of Experts elections.

The polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0430 GMT) Friday morning and are slated to close at 6:00 p.m. (1430 GMT). But the deadline would be extended if the heavy turnout continues in coming hours.

According to Iranian interior ministry figures, a sum of 6,229 candidates have been cleared to compete for the 290-seat legislature but 729 of them have withdrawn from candidacy. More than 5,500 have carried out the final registration to run in the race. Candidates from all the three major camps, the Principlists, Moderates and Reformists are present in the race.

Iranians have also gone to the polls to elect 88 jurisprudential experts out of more than 800 prospective candidates for the 5th Assembly of Experts.

The 88 members of the Assembly will also be directly elected. The winning candidates of the Assembly of Experts’ next term, lasting until 2024, possibly might have to choose the next Supreme Leader of Iran, or at the very least plan for it.

Over 53,000 polling stations have been set up for people to elect representatives to the parliament.

Hundreds of foreign reporters are in Iran to cover the Friday parliamentary elections in the country.

54,915,024 Iranians are eligible to vote in the elections.

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