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Iran leaders aim for high voter turnout in election amidst rising dissatisfaction among citizens.

Iranians Cast Votes in Parliamentary Election Amid Growing Frustration

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Urges Iranians to Vote

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called voting a religious duty as Iranians headed to the polls to elect a new parliament. He emphasized the importance of the election, stating that the eyes of both Iran’s friends and ill-wishers were on the results. Khamenei urged citizens to vote early and make their stance known.

Low Turnout Expected Despite Calls for Participation

Despite the government’s efforts to boost turnout following anti-government protests, official polls suggest only about 41% of Iranians will vote. This marks a decline from previous elections, raising concerns about the legitimacy of the clerical establishment. With over 15,000 candidates vying for seats in the 290-seat parliament, the interior ministry anticipates releasing partial results on Saturday.

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Activists and Opposition Groups Voice Discontent

Iranian activists and opposition groups have taken to social media to promote hashtags like #VOTENoVote and #ElectionCircus, criticizing the election process. Many Iranians, including university student Mehran, are opting not to vote as a form of protest against the current regime. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi has labeled the election as a “sham,” reflecting widespread disillusionment among the populace.

Challenges Facing Iran’s Leadership

The election comes amidst several crises, including economic hardships and escalating tensions in the Middle East. With moderates and conservatives abstaining from the race, hardliners and conservatives are the primary contenders. However, many Iranians remain skeptical of the ruling clerics’ ability to address the country’s economic woes exacerbated by sanctions and mismanagement. The outcome of the election will have broader implications for Iran’s future trajectory.

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