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Iran sees new voter interest in June contest

May 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

TEHRAN, May 29 (UPI) -- More than 1.5 million voters are expected to cast ballots for the first time in June's presidential election, the Iranian Interior Ministry reports.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said more than 50 million people are eligible to vote June 14. It will be the first voting opportunity for more than 1.5 million people, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

Iranian leaders have said a high voter turnout would send a strong signal about the resiliency of the Islamic republic. Presidential elections in 2009 were marred to violence following the controversial victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ineligible to compete in June because of term limits.

Mohammad-Najjar said there would be more than 130,000 ballot boxes open domestically on Election Day and 285 polling stations overseas.

There are eight candidates qualified for the election. Most of them are considered conservative leaders allied with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei told lawmakers Wednesday that candidates should campaign honestly.

"The words of the candidates should be real, friendly, (and) based on accurate and true information," he was quoted as saying.

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