- Title: IRAN: Current and former presidents cast votes in Iran election
- Date: 14th March 2008
- Summary: (W2) TEHRAN, IRAN (MARCH 14, 2008) (REUTERS) FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI ENTERING POLLING STATION CLOSE OF RAFSANJANI VARIOUS OF RAFSANJANI PREPARING TO VOTE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONERS RAFSANJANI CASTING VOTE RAFSANJANI APPROACHING PODIUM FOR NEWS CONFERENCE RAFSANJANI STANDING ON PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI SAYING: "It is to the advantage of Iranian people to vote. The critics are making a mistake if they do not vote" ELECTORAL COMMISSIONERS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI SAYING: "But our enemies outside the country definitely prefer that we have a weak parliament and that participation would be low to indicate a gap between the people and the system." RAFSANJANI LEAVING POLLING STATION
- Reuters ID: LVA5CN15ERNHK73N32BNV8RONEV6
- Duration: 00:02:01
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is surrounded by journalists as he casts his ballot in Tehran, while former head of state Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani votes and urges all Iranians to participate in the country's eight parliamentary election.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast his vote in Tehran in the parliamentary elections on Friday (March 14).
Conservatives are expected to win after many of Ahmadinejad's opponents were barred from running as candidates.
However, Ahmadinejad is not guaranteed an easy ride even with a win by conservatives because as well his allies, they include critics of his economic policies and people looking beyond this election to the presidential race next year.
Parliament does not decide on major policy issues such as how to handle Iran's nuclear row with the West. But food prices, not foreign policy, are what most ordinary Iranians worry about.
At another Tehran polling station, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjai urged all Iranians to vote as he cast his ballot.
"It is to the advantage of Iranian people to vote. The critics are making a mistake if they do not vote," Rafsanjani said at a news conference in a polling station.
"But our enemies outside the country definitely prefer that we have a weak parliament and that participation would be low to indicate a gap between people and the system," he added.
Iranians are voting to choose their representatives in the eighth parliament since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In Friday's election, 4,500 candidates are competing for the 290-seat assembly. There are about 44 million eligible voters who must be over 18 years of age.
Polling stations opened from 8 a.m and are due to close at 6 p.m.(1430GMT) but in past elections the deadline has been extended.
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