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Iran’s Khamenei urges ‘high participation’ in presidential vote

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday called for “high participation” in Friday’s presidential election.

“We emphasise the importance of high participation (in the election) because it is the pride of the Islamic republic,” Khamenei declared in a televised speech three days ahead of the vote.

Voters have the choice between six candidates, who were selected by the Guardian Council – an unelected body dominated by conservatives – from the 80 hopefuls who had filed their candidacy. The three frontrunners are considered to be Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Saeed Jalili and Massoud Pezeshkian.

During the last presidential election, in 2021, the government invalidated many reformists and moderates, which allowed Raisi, the candidate of the conservative camp, to be elected and succeed moderate president Hassan Rouhani.

Turnout was at 49 per cent, the lowest rate for a presidential election since 1979.

Supporters surround Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili after an election campaign rally in Tehran. PHOTO: AFP