Early stats say Iran's parliamentary elections turnout at 66 percent
Informed sources said that a sum of 32 to 33 million Iranians have voted in the country's 9th parliamentary elections on Friday, putting the public participation rate at around 66 percent, although early official estimates will be released Sunday night, Fars news reported.
Although official sources, including interior ministry and Guardian Council officials, have not released any figure about the number of participants in Iran's 9th parliamentary elections, informed sources and FNA dispatches from across the country said between 32 and 33 million Iranians have taken part in the yesterday elections.
The FNA estimates are based on the official figures released on the number of ballot papers sent and used in nationwide constituencies.
Over 48 million Iranian voters were eligible to cast their ballots in the Friday's legislative polls. Sources also said that over 50 of eligible voters, that is more 2.5 million people, cast their votes in the ballot box in Tehran constituency until 10 p.m.
The Iranian Interior Ministry said kept polling centers open until late night due to the high public turnout across the country.
Voting officially ended at 11 p.m., but polling continued in many centers across the country behind closed doors.
Polling was very heavy since the very beginning. Reports from various media outlets said that large numbers of people had queued behind closed doors since 5 a.m., that is three hours before polling stations opened.
Thousands of additional ballot papers were sent to various Iranian cities after local electoral authorities from different constituencies across the country asked the Interior Ministry to send them more papers due to the large public turnout.
At around midday, Spokesman of Iran's Guardian Council (GC), the body in charge of supervising the elections, announced that the rate of public participation in the Friday elections had, till then, been 8 to 9 percent higher than the turnout in the last parliamentary elections in the country.
The American and European reporters and journalists who had come to Iran to cover the 9th parliamentary elections were astonished by the high level of public participation at the polling stations.
More than 5,400 have registered to run in the race for the 290 parliamentary seats. The Guardian Council had approved the competence of more than 3,269 hopefuls.
Edited by: S. Isayev