Amid expectations of a high voter turnout, the 9th Majlis (parliamentary) elections since the 1979 Islamic Revolution have officially started across Iran, with over 48 million people eligible to vote.
Voting began in the capital, Tehran, where more than five million people are eligible to cast their ballots, and other cities and towns across the country at 08:00 a.m. local time (0430 GMT) on Friday, and will continue until 06:00 p.m. (14:30 GMT).
Majlis candidates launched the weeklong campaign on February 23 by introducing their plans to the public. The elections campaign drew to a close on Thursday.
Iran's Guardian Council, charged with supervising the elections, approved the competence of 3,454 candidates.
On February 21, Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said that 48,288,799 people are eligible to cast their ballots in the Majlis vote.
Over 5,400 had registered to contest the 290 parliamentary seats. More than 47,000 polling stations will operate nationwide during the elections.
Some 3.9 million people will cast their votes for the first time.
About 1,300 local and 350 foreign reporters working for 174 international media outlets are providing coverage for the elections.
According to Iran’s Interior Ministry, the election process will be managed by some 850,000 observers in 47,000 polling stations and 1,000 constituencies across the country.
The ministry's elections headquarters will use an electronic system to oversee the entire electoral process. The system is expected to expedite elections procedures and enable the ministry to monitor the whole event more accurately.
On Wednesday, February 29, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei predicted a high turnout in the upcoming parliamentary elections, describing the event as yet another firm slap in the face of world arrogance.
The Leader said that the Iranian nation will display their firm determination to the enemies of the country and deal another heavy blow to the hegemonic powers, one that would be even heavier than the one on February 11 during rallies marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution throughout the country.