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Voting underway in Iran election, low turnout expected

Iran's presidential election has seen thin participation of people in the early hours, but nearly all top conservative and reformist figures have cast their ballots.

Voting in Friday's election kicked off at 7 a.m. (0230GMT) and is expected to continue until midnight (1930GMT), with the possibility of two hours' extension.

According to the Interior Ministry, around 59 million Iranians are eligible to vote this year, including 1.3 million first-time voters and 3.5 million Iranians voting abroad.

Despite passionate calls made by authorities for "maximum participation," turnout in major cities remained low until noon.

Among the first to vote was Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who termed it a "day of the Iranian nation," urging people to cast their ballots.

Top government officials including President Hassan Rouhani, Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, and parliament speaker Baqar Ghalibaf were also seen at different polling stations in the Iranian capital.

Jahangiri was one of the reformist candidates disqualified by the country's top election supervisory body from the race.

Some other disqualified candidates such as former speaker Ali Larijani, former IRGC commander Saeed Mohammad and Tehran City Council chief Mohsen Rafsanjani also cast their votes in Tehran.


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