Parliamentary elections in Iran take off: 3 hours later…

Posted on March 2, 2012

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So, 3 hours ago 9th parliamentary elections in Iran officially took off with country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei casting first vote.

Khamenei later answed some questions from journalists, and wished success to everyone who’s participating in the elections.

Journalists and reporters from Germany, Austria, Spain, the U.S., Ukraine, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, Turkey, Czech Republic, Russia, France, Japan, Finland, Canada, South Korea, Lebanon and Venezuela are covering the parliamentary elections the Islamic Republic.

Over 3,000 candidates compete in the parliamentary elections. The elections take place in 46,062 polling stations. They are held in 14,307 polling stations by using the mobile ballot boxes. According to the law, the parliamentary elections must last 10 hours, but if there is a need, the interior minister may extend the voting time (right now they say it can be extended up to 4 hours).

The election results may be made public in 48 – 72 hours after the election day (from March 2). For the first time, the electronic voting will be widely used in Iran. The electronic voting takes place in the main polling stations of 14 provinces. About 48 million people have the right to vote in Iran.

Religious minorities

Yes, the ones above also have the right to participate, although separately. At the current 9th parliamentary elections in Iran, there are 14 religious minority candidates for parliamentary spots. Five of those fourteen will get spots in the Majlis (parliament).

According to the requirements for the Iranian parliament candidates, they must be Iranian citizens, confess Islam and believe in the Islamic Republic and show their faith in action.

In addition, they should be authoritative leaders in their circles (those with shadowy past are not allowed), should be physically healthy (not to be blind, deaf and mute) and have a Master’s degree. A candidate must be at least 30 and no older than 75 years.

In contrast to the presidential elections and expert elections to the Majlis, representatives of religious minorities may also nominate for parliamentary elections in Iran. “Muslim religion” requirements are not applied to them.

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