Iran Focus: Tehran, Jun. 22 In Irans South Khorrasan province (north-eastern Iran) 298,000 ballots were counted in the first round of the presidential elections despite the fact that there were only 270,000 eligible voters, a defeated presidential candidate stated in a conference yesterday evening. Iran Focus
Tehran, Jun. 22 In Irans South Khorrasan province (north-eastern Iran) 298,000 ballots were counted in the first round of the presidential elections despite the fact that there were only 270,000 eligible voters, a defeated presidential candidate stated in a conference yesterday evening.
Mehdi Karroubi, a long-time confidant of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and two-time former Majlis (Parliament) Speaker, said, 298,000 votes were placed in the ballot box from 270,000 eligible voters in South Khorrasan.
Karroubi, a mid-ranking cleric, once again accused Irans paramilitary Bassij forces and Revolutionary Guards of rigging the vote, adding, There are documents and files proving this.
He said that vote-rigging was so great in certain voting centres that it resulted in scuffles, adding, Certain individuals voted several times.
Previously, he had asserted that at certain times each person was able to cast ten ballots.
Irans Interior Ministry placed voter-turnout at 62 percent, a figure previously predicted by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), having unofficial monitors at 15,000 polling stations across the country, put voter-turnout at about 10 percent.
Karroubis allegations and a similar statement by the main student union inside the country seemed to lend credence to the opposition claims that a large majority of Iranians stayed away from the polls on Friday.
In last nights conference, he claimed that he was ahead of election runner-up, Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by 1.4 million votes in 27 of Irans provinces but that all changed when the tallies in Tehran, Qom, and Isfahan provinces were announced.
Karroubi, who came third in the race, said that both he and frontrunner Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani had each received 37 thousand votes in Khorrasan and Mostafa Moin had received 23 thousand, while Ahmadinejad had received 101,638 votes. He added sarcastically, Perhaps angels in the sky added those votes to the ballot boxes.
He said that the Guardian Council, the highest vetting organ of the clerical establishment, and the Revolutionary Guards added votes to ballot boxes and intimidated voters.