Iran encouraging high voter turnout

March 21, 2013 at 9:27 AM
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TEHRAN, March 21 (UPI) -- Iranians need to honor the call from the Iranian supreme leader and turn out for June presidential elections, the cultural and guidance minister said.

Iran is to have presidential elections in June to replace President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is ineligible for re-election because of term limits.

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini said a high voter-turnout was needed to display the power of the Iranian nation, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reports.

Former Iranian Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeedikia, Second Vice Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar and head of Iran's General Inspectorate Organization Mostafa Pourmohammadi were recent entries into the presidential race. Former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki threw his hat in the ring last month.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in a New Year's message this week, said the coming Persian year would be a year of political progress for Iran.

"The ground has been prepared for progressive movement and for explosive progress, in economic and political areas as well as in other crucial areas," he said.

Ahmadinejad's contested claim to victory in 2009 sparked unrest not since Iran's revolution in 1979.

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