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Iran Fears Low Turnout in Presidential Election

Iran Fears Low Turnout in Presidential Election

Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 - 11:00
A woman casts her vote during parliamentary elections at a polling station in Tehran (File photo: Reuters)

The Iranian Minister of Interior, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, has expressed concerns over possible low turnout in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for early June.


The official IRNA agency reported that Rahmani Fazli urged state governors during a video conference to ramp up preparations ahead of the election, saying that the political, social, and public opinion did not interact with the election.


"When we compare this election period with the past four years, we feel a little anxious," said Rahmani Fazli, adding that it is imperative that political parties become more involved in order to ensure a successful election.


Despite the economic pressures caused by the US sanctions and repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, the country's security is in an acceptable position, and authorities will supervise and audit the whole electoral process, asserted the minister.


Iran recorded its lowest turnout in 41 years during the parliamentary election last February.


The participation rate in the parliamentary election, in which the conservatives won the majority of the seats, reached 25 percent in Tehran and 43 percent across the country, according to official figures.


Observers believe that the actual participation was less than that.


Meanwhile, sources close to former reformist President Mohammad Khatami denied reports claiming he was planning to run for the upcoming presidential election.


Khatami was president of Iran for an eight-year term, before leaving office to his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in 2005.


Mohammad Saduqi, Khatami’s nephew, announced on Instagram that the former president informed him on Sunday he was not a candidate, according to the reformist news agency ILNA.


Saduqi quoted Khatami as saying: "I will not run for the presidential election... It is not possible. We must not toy with the hopes and trust of the people.”


Khatami wants to ensure a suitable atmosphere for dynamic election with candidates of different orientations.


According to Saduqi, Khatami indicated that the large popular turnout in the upcoming election can ensure that hardliners will not win the majority.


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