The polls have closed in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s presidential and city and village council elections and the counting has begun.
The polling stations closed around the country by 11 pm (18:30 GMT) local time on Friday, and vote counting began. Earlier in the day, the Iranian Interior Ministry extended the voting deadline for the fourth time. Polls officially opened across Iran at 8:00 a.m. (03:30 GMT) and were originally scheduled to end at 6 p.m. (13:30 GMT). The head of the Election Committee of Tehran Provincearali Baratlou said the voter turnout in the Friday elections is predicted to hit 70 percent in Tehran Province. Millions of Iranian voters headed for polling stations to cast their ballots and choose the country’s 11th president as well as their representatives at the city and village councils. Nearly 50.5 million Iranians, including more than 1.6 million first-time voters, were eligible to vote in the June 14 elections. Hassan Rohani, who is the president of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili, Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi were the six candidates running for the presidential election. Over 200,000 candidates also ran in the city and rural councils elections.