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Guardian Council says over 100% voted in 50 cities; Khatami calls for neutral probe

Source: Press TV

Iran's Guardian Council has suggested that the number of votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of people eligible to cast ballot in those areas.

The council's Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, who was speaking on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Channel 2 on Sunday, made the remarks in response to complaints filed by Mohsen Rezaei -- a defeated candidate in the June 12 Presidential election.

"Statistics provided by the candidates, who claim more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 80-170 cities are not accurate -- the incident has happened in only 50 cities," Kadkhodaei said.

The spokesman, however, said that although the vote tally affected by such an irregularity could be over 3 million and the council could, at the request of the candidates, re-count the affected ballot boxes, "it has yet to be determined whether the possible change in the tally is decisive in the election results," reported Khabaronline.

Three of the four candidates contesting in last Friday's presidential election cried foul, once the Interior Ministry announced the results - according to which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner with almost two-thirds of the vote.

Rezaei, along with Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, reported more than 646 'irregularities' in the electoral process and submitted their complaints to the body responsible for overseeing the election -- the Guardian Council.

Mousavi and Karroubi have called on the council to nullify Friday's vote and hold the election anew. This is while President Ahmadinejad and his Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli have rejected any possibility of fraud, saying that the election was free and fair.

Security forces attack protestors near University of Tehran on Saturday June 19

Khatami calls for neutral probe into election

As unrest continues in post-election Iran, former President Mohammad Khatami proposes an impartial committee to investigate complaints about results of the disputed presidential vote.

"A fair, professional, impartial and brave team, which is also entrusted by the protesters, and whose judgment can be accepted will be the resolution to the current unrest," IRNA quoted the former Reformist president as saying in a statement on Sunday.

"It will also be a positive step toward strengthening the Islamic establishment and restoring public confidence. It will also manifest vital decision-making in the interests of the Iranian nation and ideals of the Islamic Revolution in a sensitive juncture," Khatami added.

"An election has been held in Iran while a large group of people, who created the epic, do not accept the vote result and express their protest against it."

Supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the last Iranian prime minister who garnered a mere one-third of the votes, have held rallies in Tehran and other cities since incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared victor of the June 12 election.

Khatami hailed the massive turnout in the crucial poll as one of the "great achievements of the Islamic Revolution" and urged officials to prepare the ground for further participation of the people.

"The protest by the Iranian people and their civil attitude in rallies showed their vigilance and responsibility. It also indicated the undeniable fact that the nation has inevitable rights which should be observed by any system," said the former president.

... Payvand News - 06/21/09 ... --

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