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Sunday, March 16, 2008
Over 60% turnout in election
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - Over 25 million people, which is about 60 percent of all eligible voters, took part in Friday’s parliamentary elections, Interior Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi said on Saturday.
So far, over 71 percent of the elected candidates are members of conservative groups, Purmohammadi told reporters at a press conference.
He went on to say that women accounted for about 48.68 percent of voters while over 51.32 percent of the ballots were cast by men, adding that 42 percent of voters were between 18 and 30 years old.
Because of the importance of the parliamentary election, ballots for the Assembly of Experts by-election will be counted after the results of the parliamentary election are announced, he said.
Commenting on the new campaign restrictions, the interior minister said that unlike the candidates and political parties, the people were satisfied with the new campaign methods.
However, the infrastructure required for electronic voting in the future is yet to be established, he added.
------------ High turnout was a notable success: Rezaii
“The high turnout of 60 percent of the electorate nationwide was a notable success for the religious democracy in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii said at a press briefing on Saturday.
Although the voting age has been raised from 15 to 18, the people’s presence at the polling stations was glorious and the Expediency Council congratulates the Supreme Leader and the Iranian nation on this significant achievement, Rezaii added.
The voting age had been 15, but the parliament passed a law increasing the voting age to 18 in 2007.
--------------40% turnout in Tehran constituency
Some 40 percent of the eligible voters in the Tehran constituency took part in Iran’s key legislative elections, Tehran Deputy Governor Hossein Tala said on Saturday.
Vote counting is underway and the results will be announced soon, he told reporters.
Long lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots at Tehran polling stations prompted the Interior Ministry to extend the voting to 11 p.m. from the originally scheduled 6 p.m. closing time.
------------------UFF thanks people
In a statement released on Saturday, the United Fundamentalist Front said the people’s mass participation in the election proved the Islamic system’s ill-wishers wrong.
It called the Iranian nation’s glorious and historic participation in the election another glorious achievement for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the religious democracy.
The election will lead to the formation of a competent parliament whose members will be the real representatives of the Iranian people from all walks of life, the UFF noted in their statement.
The UFF also expressed their appreciation of the Supreme Leader for his wise guidelines that paved the way for a splendid parliamentary election