Iran’s interior minister says the results of the country’s upcoming presidential election will be announced all at once, and not at different stages.
Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli made the remarks in a televised interview on Tuesday, saying this has been enshrined in Iran’s Presidential Election Law.
Given that some candidates have abandoned their bids and some alliances have been formed to strengthen certain campaigns, it is estimated that the polls would not head into a second round, he added.
The electorate will head to the polls on Friday to choose among incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raeisi, who has served in different capacities at the Iranian Judiciary, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, a current member of Iran’s Expedience Council, and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, a former vice president.
Iranians will also choose members of Iran’s City and Village Councils in separate elections on the same day.
On Tuesday, Es’haq Jahangiri, the Iranian first vice president and presidential candidate, dropped out of the race to increase Rouhani’s chances of victory.
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf had done so earlier in favor of Raeisi.
“We are well prepared to hold the elections and have no concerns in the area,” Rahmani-Fazli asserted.
The minister said the voters can cast their ballots at more than 63,000 stations, and that about 1.5 million staffers, 70,000 monitors and 350,000 security enforcement personnel will be assisting with the election process.
The candidates are also allowed to assign a representative to each polling station to observe the proceedings there.
As many as 200 million ballots have been printed by Iran’s Bank Melli using the type of paper used in printing out traveler’s checks, he said.
The official added that the ballot papers bear 14 types of codes, and, therefore, cannot be either independently produced or copied. “The ballot papers are now quarantined,” Rahmani-Fazli said, and hoped that such measures would help avoid any voting irregularities.
The number of security forces can be enhanced if need be, said Rahmani-Fazli, giving assurances that the authorities are closely monitoring the circumstances.
In a Wednesday press conference, Rahmani-Fazli called on the candidates, who have publicly announced their withdrawal from the race, to make this official by noon local time (07:30 a.m. GMT) so they could be removed from the final list of hopefuls.
Wednesday, he said, marks the last day of campaigning, adding that any more electioneering would be considered illegal as of tomorrow.
The voting is to begin at 08:00 a.m. local time (03:30 a.m. GMT) on Friday, according to Rahmani-Fazli.
“As long as people turn up before ballot boxes and are not legally prohibited from voting, we are going to be at their service,” he added.
He, meanwhile, said 95 percent of the opinion polls predicting the outcome of the elections do not follow any rules, and are illegal and fictitious.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Guardian Council, the body responsible for overseeing elections in Iran, called on the Interior Ministry to announce the result of the Friday election gradually, citing the sensitivity of the issue.
“The Guardian Council recommends that the result of the presidential election vote counts be made public gradually,” Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday.