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Polling starts in Iran for Experts Assembly, councils election

Tehran, Dec 15, IRNA-The 4th Assembly of Experts and 3rd local councils elections started across the country at 09:00 hours local time (0530 GMT) simultaneously Friday.

The second by-elections of the 7th Majlis starts also in three constituencies of "Tehran, Rey, Shemiranat and Eslamshahr", "Bam" and "Ahvaz" on Friday.

The elections are the first being held during President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency.

Polling started in 63,377 stations inside the country. The polling is scheduled to close at 19:00 (1530 GMT) unless the time is extended by the Interior Ministry.

According to the latest figures, 1.3 million people are involved in holding the elections.

Interior Ministry has set 3,150 polling stations and 9,450 ballot boxes in Tehran.

Head of the elections headquarters, Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, said over 46 million and 43 million people are eligible to vote at the Assembly of Experts as well as City and Village Councils elections, respectively.

All those having completed 15 years of age and above can participate in the elections.

Some 493 people had registered for elections of Experts Assembly but 165 hopefuls were qualified to compete for the 86-seat assembly.

Over 280,000 people had registered for the local councils elections. The Islamic Consultative Assembly confirmed qualifications of over 230,000 candidates.

Some 5,405 and 114,704 people will be elected in cities and villages, respectively.

The by-elections will be held in three constituencies to elect four deputies.

According to the latest figures, 96 candidates will run for Tehran, Rey, Shemiranat and Eslamshahr constituency, five for Bam and 18 for Ahvaz.

... Payvand News - 12/15/06 ... --

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