Iran polls close except in capital: Ministry

Last Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 00:53

Tehran: Polls closed in most of Iran in the race to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday but electoral officials in the capital extended voting for a fifth hour until 11 pm (1830 GMT).
Those already queueing to vote in the provinces would still be allowed to cast their ballots, an interior ministry statement said.

"Due to the impressive presence of the insightful people of the Islamic nation and after the agreement of the interior minister (Mostafa Mohammad Najjar) ... the voting has been extended," an earlier ministry statement said.

Voters were still queueing outside several Tehran polling stations visited by AFP journalists at 9:00 pm (1630 GMT), when an earlier extension of voting hours expired.

Under Iran`s presidential law, polls are open for 10 hours, with a likelihood of extensions.

Iranian media quoted the capital`s top electoral official, Safar Ali Baratlou, as saying that, as of 1400 GMT, "turnout (in Tehran province) is higher than four years ago. It will certainly reach 70 percent."

Officials in several other provinces reported turnout of at least 70 percent by 1330 GMT.

In 2009, turnout reached 85 percent nationwide.

Some 50.5 million voters are eligible to vote this year.

AFP



First Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 00:53

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