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Iran experiences early presidential election day

Iranians are today holding their fourteenth presidential election, for which 59,000 polling stations have been set up simultaneously in the Persian nation and in 95 other countries.

From 08:00 local time until at least 18:00, according to electoral regulations, the centres are open for citizens to vote by secret and direct ballot to decide who will fill the vacancy as head of the executive branch and govern the destiny of the country for the next four years. The unexpected election was called 40 days ago, after the tragic helicopter crash last May, in which President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi and several of his companions, including Foreign Minister Hosein Amirabdolahian, lost their lives.

More than 61 million Iranians are expected to vote this Friday to decide between the four contenders left in the race after two of the main contenders, Alireza Zakani and Amirhosein Qazizade Hashemi, resigned.

On the ballot and awaiting the popular vote on Friday are Masud Pezeshkian, Mostafa Purmohamadi, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Said Yalili.

Masud Pezeshkian, 70, has a postgraduate degree in Cardiovascular Surgery, served as Minister of Health, Member of Parliament for Tabriz, first deputy speaker of Parliament and assumed the rectorship of the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.

Mostafa Purmohamadi, 64, a graduate of Jurisprudence and Islamic Law, was head of the Islamic Revolution Documents Centre, Minister of Justice, Director of the General Inspection Institute, Minister of the Interior and held various positions in the Ministry of Intelligence.

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, 63, PhD in Political Geography, served as Speaker of Parliament, Mayor of Tehran and for a period as head of the Centre for Combating Smuggling of Goods.

Said Yalili, 59, PhD in Political Science, served as a member of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, the System Discernment Council, secretary of the High National Security Council and representative of the Leader in the High National Security Council.

Although only four candidates remained, the six initially endorsed by the Guardian Council had the opportunity to showcase their government proposals through the election campaigns, with visits to different regions and the five nationally televised debates.

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