[14 June 13] Iran presidential candidates cast votes - English

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Amid the massive turnout of voters in Friday\'s elections, Iranian presidential candidates have joined the rest of the nation in casting their ballots. Shortly after the polls opened, independent candidate Mohammad Gharazi showed up at a polling station in southeast Tehran and cast his vote. Describing June 14 as a national day, Gharazi said the real winner of the elections is the Iranian people and stressed that whoever wins the race bears a great responsibility. Presidential candidate Hassan Rohani also cast his ballot on Friday morning. He urged all Iranians to make their presence felt on the political arena and further reinforce the Islamic Republic by turning out in force in the elections. After casting his ballot, Principlist candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf also emphasized that popular vote is tantamount to law, adding that the candidate who emerges victorious should be respected by all. Ali Akbar Velayati, another Principlist candidate, also urged Iranians to take part in the election fervidly, saying people\'s vote was the reaffirmation of the Islamic Republic. Independent candidate Mohsen Rezaei, for his part, urged a massive turnout in the elections. He called upon all Iranians to play an active role in determining their fate. Principlist candidate Saeed Jalili also called for a high voter turnout and stressed that all people should respect he who is elected. Polls officially opened in Iran for presidential, and city and rural council elections at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) on Friday and are scheduled to remain open for ten hours. The time can be extended if necessary. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his ballot minutes into the polls. Nearly 50.5 Iranians are eligible to vote in the June 14 election. More than 1.6 million of those eligible are first-time voters. The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election. Over 200,000 candidates are also running for city and rural council elections.

Added by PTV on 15-06-2013
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