May, 19, 2017 – 17:21
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Sarkissian described the great participation of Iranians in the elections as very important in the regional and international arenas.
“The (massive) participation will lead to admiration for the level of political awareness of the country’s citizens,” the archbishop said.
He went on to say that the high turnout would further strengthen the country’s Leader and next president to resolve domestic problems and play a major role in regional and international equations.
Iranians headed to the polls as soon as the stations opened to elect the country’s 8th president.
There are four candidates seeking the presidency in the polls, namely incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim. Two other hopefuls, Eshaq Jahangiri and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, dropped out of the race in favor of Rouhani and Raisi, respectively.
Concurrently, the 5th City and Village Councils elections are being held across the country.
Near 63,500 polling stations across Iran opened on Friday morning. Around 14,000 mobile ballot boxes have been also prepared for inaccessible and rural areas.
According to the Interior Ministry, the election process involves around 1.5 million executive forces and monitors, 350,000 security forces, 70,000 inspectors, and around 100,000 representatives of local governors.
Authorities say the number of eligible voters stands at above 56,400,000, more than 1,350,000 of whom are allowed to vote for the first time.
More than 600 local and foreign reporters and journalist cover the news of the election.