Thu May 18, 2017 5:24AM
Iranians show off their inked fingers after voting in the Iran presidential election, June 14, 2013. (Photo by AP)
Iranians show off their inked fingers after voting in the Iran presidential election, June 14, 2013. (Photo by AP)

Iran’s Interior Ministry says the results of the country’s upcoming presidential election will be announced gradually, reversing an earlier decision to declare the outcome all at once.

“After getting the opinion of the Guardian Council and the resolution of a legal issue, the results of the vote counts in this election will be announced gradually,” said head of the Interior Ministry’s election headquarters Mohammad Hossein Moqimi late Wednesday, according to the ministry’s website.

The Guardian Council is tasked with overseeing the election process.

The remark came despite a Tuesday announcement by Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, who said the election results would be announced at once based on the Presidential Election Law.

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In response, Abbasali Kadkhodai, the spokesman of the Guardian Council, opposed the decision to announce the results at once and said that the supervisory body will discuss the issue with the Interior Ministry.

Moqimi said that the Interior Ministry has accepted the Guardian Council’s interpretation of an article under the election law concerning the manner of announcing the election results.

End of campaign

The comments come as Iranians are preparing to head to the polls on Friday morning to choose the next president as well as members of the country’s City and Village Councils.

All election campaigns ended across Iran on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. local time (3:30 GMT), 24 hours before the start of the elections.

Iranian presidential candidate Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, surrounded by his bodyguards, arrives to attend a campaign rally in Mashhad, May 17, 2017. (Photo by Press TV)

The Interior Ministry has estimated that the presidential election will not head into a second round as two candidates have abandoned their bids and some alliances have been formed to strengthen certain campaigns.

The electorate will 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 Expediency Council, and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, a former vice president.

President Candidate Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president, waves to his supporters during a campaign gathering in Mashhad, May 17, 2017. (Photo by Press TV)

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.

Voters can cast their ballots at more than 63,000 stations and 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.