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Iran Elections Unlikely to Head into Run-Off: Minister

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Iran’s interior minister says the next president will most likely win the Friday election in the first round.

Speaking in a televised interview on Tuesday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said, “Given that some candidates have abandoned their bids and some alliances have been formed to strengthen certain campaigns, it is estimated that the polls would not head into a second round.”

The electorate will head to the polls on Friday to choose among incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, who has served in different capacities at the Iranian Judiciary, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, a current member of Iran’s Expedience Council, and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, a former vice president.

Iranians will also choose members of Iran’s City and Village Councils in separate elections on the same day.

On Tuesday, Es’haq Jahangiri, the Iranian first vice president and presidential candidate, dropped out of the race to increase Rouhani’s chances of victory.

Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf had done so earlier in favor of Raisi.

“We are well prepared to hold the elections and have no concerns in the area,” Rahmani-Fazli asserted.

The minister said the voters can cast their ballots at more than 63,000 stations, and that about 1.5 million staffers, 70,000 monitors and 350,000 security enforcement personnel will be assisting with the election process.

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The candidates are also allowed to assign a representative to each polling station to observe the proceedings there, Press TV reported.

As many as 200 million ballots have been printed by Iran’s Bank Melli using the type of paper used in printing out traveler’s checks, he said.

The official added that the ballot papers bear 14 types of codes, and, therefore, cannot be either independently produced or copied. “The ballot papers are now quarantined,” Rahmani-Fazli said, and hoped that such measures would help avoid any voting irregularities.

The number of security forces can be enhanced if need be, said Rahmani-Fazli, giving assurances that the authorities are closely monitoring the circumstances.

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