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Iran Election Results to Be Released Gradually: Official

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TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Interior Ministry reversed its decision on how to release the results of the forthcoming presidential election, a deputy minister announced, saying the vote counts are going to be made public in a gradual process upon closure of the polls.

Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Moqimi said on Wednesday night that the ministry, in charge of holding the election, has decided to publicize the ballot counts gradually after consultations with the Guardian Council and receiving the supervisory body’s interpretation of the rules.

During a press conference on Wednesday morning, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli had announced that he would declare the results of Friday's election only once they are finalized, citing a rule that forbids piecemeal release of the vote counts.

During the previous elections, when the results of vote counts in different provinces were released intermittently, the number of votes of candidates swung remarkably, the minister explained, arguing that such swinging numbers led to wild speculations.

Thereafter, the Guardian Council, which is in charge of supervising the elections, said it is not of the same mind with the decision not to publicize the ballot counts gradually.

There are four candidates seeking presidency in Friday’s polls, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim. Two other hopefuls, Eshaq Jahangiri and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, dropped out of the race in favor of Rouhani and Raisi, respectively.

Election campaigning drew to a close on Thursday morning, 24 hours before polls open, according to the law.

Polling stations for the 12th presidential election, the 5th City and Village Councils elections, and the Parliament’s mid-term elections will open across Iran at 8 a.m. Friday.

Authorities say the number of eligible voters in the Friday elections stands at more than 56,400,000. Iranian expatriates in 104 countries will be able to vote in the presidential election.

A run-off would be held a week later if none of the candidates wins a majority, which is at least 50 percent plus one vote.

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