Leader casts early ballots in Iran’s presidential, council elections
The Iranians began casting their ballots at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) on Friday with the polls scheduled to remain open for ten hours."Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has cast his ballots in Iran’s 11th presidential and 4th city and rural council elections as the polls officially opened across the country. Speaking to reporters after casting his votes minutes after the opening of the polls early Friday, the Leader stressed the importance of the Iranian nation’s “effective, timely, massive and enthusiastic” participation in the elections.
"The dear Iranian people should enter the scene of elections with fervor and motivation, and [they should] know that the destiny of the country and prosperity of the nation depend on their presence and the choice they make,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.The Leader said the Iranian people play a key role in determining their fate, and that is the reason behind enemies’ propaganda campaigns against the nation. The enemies have made every effort to create voter apathy in Iran by trying to incite “cynicism and despair” among Iranians, Ayatollah Khamenei underlined. They have not stopped with media propaganda to achieve their goal, said the Leader, adding that Western politicians and figures affiliated with the enemies are now overtly trying to discourage people from taking part.
Pointing to US officials’ dismissive remarks about the elections in Iran, the Leader stated, “The views of enemies have never had any significance for the Iranian people, and the [Iranian] nation itself has always made decisions about what it needs and what is in the interest of the country, and has made and will make its choice on that basis.”Ayatollah Khamenei recommended that Iranians cast their ballots at the earliest opportunity, adding that no one, not even those close to him, is privy to his vote. The Leader further expressed hope that the election results would benefit the country and people, and bring prosperity as well as material and spiritual welfare to the nation. Officials in charge of running the elections should know that the “people’s votes are left in their trust,” Ayatollah Khamenei underscored. The Iranians began casting their ballots at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) on Friday with the polls scheduled to remain open for ten hours. The time can be extended if necessary. Six candidates, namely President of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research Hassan Rohani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi are running in the presidential election. Over 200,000 candidates are also running for city and rural council elections. SF/NN/HMV