EghtesadOnline: Campaigning for the 11th round of parliamentary elections slated for Feb. 21 began on Wednesday midnight, the Elections Headquarters announced.
Over 7,000 Majlis candidates have one week to campaign for one of the 290 parliamentary seats available to lawmakers in 208 constituencies across the country, IRNA reported.
In a meeting of the electoral watchdog on Wednesday, according to Financial Tribune, Chairman of the Guardians Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati stressed the need for a high turnout in the upcoming elections that would “disappoint the enemy”.
The Guardians Council has vetted the candidates for the past few weeks, approving over 50% of those who registered to run in the election.
Jannati said, “Enemies are looking to [encourage] the boycott of the election and reduce voter turnout. The public and the authorities must try to increase people’s participation and disappoint the enemy.”
The chairman urged nominees to show restraint in their campaigns, be fair to other candidates, abide by the rules and avoid presenting the country in a bad light.
Dismissing claims that there is no competition between different parties in some constituencies, Jannati noted that the upcoming Majlis election is “competitive” and all groups have representatives in the contest. He also reassured the public of a fair election.
The Guardians Council has disqualified a host of top figures from reformist-minded groupings, giving rise to concerns that some constituencies will not witness a “real” election.
Nearly 58 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the February elections, 50.13% of whom are men and 49.87% are women. Election campaigns end at 8 a.m. local time on Feb. 20, precisely 24 hours before voting begins.