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Iran MP: High election turnout will improve national security

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian MP Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi

An Iranian lawmaker has stressed the importance of people's participation in the upcoming elections, saying it will strengthen the country's security.

In a phone interview, Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, who represents Mashhad and Kalat electoral district at Iran's parliament (Majlis), predicted "a warm and strong" turnout at the 11th parliamentary polls scheduled for February 21, 2020.

"Naturally, because the establishment is a democratic one arisen from people's votes, the people's participation [in the elections] and support for the establishment will help increase its power and will also improve national security."

He said people created "the Islamic establishment," so they should support and preserve it.

As long as people's support continues, "the enemies' efforts to disrupt the country's situation will fail," he added.

Ghazizadeh Hashemi also noted that the Iranians have always actively participated in elections because of the important role the parliament and the government play in their lives.

The parliamentary elections, which are the 11th since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, will be held in over 200 constituencies across the country's 31 provinces.

Earlier this week, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said 16,033 candidates had registered for the polls, out of which 848 had submitted their withdrawal. 

From the remaining 15,185, he added, the election boards affiliated to the Interior Ministry approved the competency of 13,849 parliamentary hopefuls, 91 percent of the total.

The candidates will further be screened for their qualifications by Iran’s vetting body, the Guardian Council.

The Iranian parliament has 290 members who are elected by public vote for four-year terms. 

February 21, 2020 will also feature an interim election for Iran’s Assembly of Experts, whose members are directly elected to office by the people for an eight-year term. 

The assembly elects and oversees the activities of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and is in a position of authority to either appoint or dismiss the Leader.

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