Iranians cast their votes in a presidential election on Friday.
More or less, 60 million eligible voters in Iran will determine the fate of four candidates to succeed President Hassan Rouhani.
Polls opened at 7am local time (2:30 GMT). Moreover, polls will close at midnight (19:30 GMT) but can be extended for a couple of hours. The results are expected midday on Saturday.
With clouds of uncertainty on its head, Iran is striving to revive its 2015 nuclear deal and get control of growing poverty after years of United States sanctions. Iranian analysts predicted a referendum on the current leadership’s handling of an array of crises as an outcome of these votes.
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Ayatollah Khamenei encouraged the Iranians after casting his vote in the capital Tehran,“each vote counts … come and vote and choose your president”.
With the disqualification of many candidates,the energy and interest of voters were dampened. Plus,the deep economic unease, which has kicked off burgeoning inflation and job losses – the crisis deepened by the COVID pandemic.
a Tehran car mechanic Nasrollah said“I’m not a politician, I don’t know anything about politics.I have no money. All families are now facing economic problems. How can we vote for these people who did this to us? It’s not right.”
“The general public has one thing on their mind that they want some change from the moderate and reformist government they have seen over the past eight years,” she said.
“There is a sense that the economic situation in the country is not going to change any time soon. So they are hoping Raisi will bring some kind of change.”
Iranian opposition groups abroad and some freethinkers at home have urged a boycott of the vote they see as an engineered victory for Raisi.
But many queued to vote at schools, mosques and community centres, some carrying Iran’s green, white and red national flag.