Iranian Interior Ministry has extended the voting deadline for the country ' s presidential as well as city and village councils elections by two hours due to massive voter turnout.
The ministry said in a statement that voters can continue casting their ballots until 2000 local time (15:30 GMT) on Friday, two hours beyond the initial 10-hour deadline. Polls officially opened across Iran at 8:00 a.m. (03:30 GMT) and were originally scheduled to remain open till 6 p.m. (13:30 GMT). The Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar had earlier reported a high public participation in the elections, stressing that the ministry was closely monitoring the election process. Mohammad-Najjar also stated that the vote counting process would start immediately after polls close, and that the process would be faster compared to previous elections. The country's election headquarters, meanwhile, said there had been no report of major irregularities from the polling stations, where representatives of the candidates have been stationed for more transparency. Nearly 50.5 million Iranians, including more than 1.6 million first-time voters, are eligible to vote in the June 14 elections. 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 the six candidates running in the presidential election. Over 200,000 candidates are also running for city and rural councils elections.