Citing massive turnout across the nation, Iran extended voting time for two hours in the country’s 9th parliamentary elections.
Considering the high turnout of the Iranians at the polling stations and the long queues of people waiting to cast their votes, it was decided that voting time be extended for two hours to 8:00 p.m. (1630 GMT), the Interior Ministry said a press statement.
Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0430 GMT) Friday morning and were scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m. (1430 GMT) before the Interior Ministry statement extended the voting hours.
Earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast his vote at a polling station in downtown Tehran. The Presidency has vowed to do its best to ensure free and faire election, stressing that it will not support any of the contesting political forces or candidates.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined the importance of people’s high turnout in the ninth parliamentary elections for Iran’s security and immunity.
“The more enthusiastic and motivated people come (to the voting stations), the better and more fruitful it (their participation) will be for the country’s future and reputation and for maintaining security and immunity,” Ayatollah Khamenei said after casting his vote in Tehran in the early hours of Friday morning.
According to Iranian interior ministry figures, about 3,269 candidates have been cleared to compete for the 290-seat legislature.
In the two provinces of Khorassan Razavi and Kurdestan, people will also cast votes for third by-elections for the fourth round of the Experts Assembly.