Iranians appeared to have turned out in large numbers yesterday to vote in nationwide parliamentary elections. In Tehran, lines formed at major mosques where polling took place.
Opinions differed between young voters who supported reform ideas, like one 27-year-old Iranian who said, “I am voting because I did not vote in the two previous elections. As a result, people I don’t like were elected, and their policies have affected my life,” and more conservative voters who support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Interior Ministry extended polling hours to encourage high turnout, which was expected to be between 50 and 60 percent. Reformist supporters feared unfair balloting practices and complained Friday of irregularities and discrimination at polling places as well as the decision by the Interior Ministry to announce the election results only after the vote tally was final. Results had always been announced as they were tallied in the past while counting continued. This change makes some suspicious of government interference in the results.