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Monday, June 22, 2009

Guardian Council rules out vote nullification.

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iran's Guardian Council rules out the possibility of nullifying the country's June 12 Presidential election, saying there has been no record of any major irregularity.

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei (photo), the council's Spokesman said late on Monday that most of the complaints reported irregularities before the election, and not during or after the vote. He added that the Guardian Council was not the relevant body to look into such complaints.

The Guardian Council is the body in charge of supervising the elections and has to approve the outcome before any result could be official.

"If a major breach occurs in an election, the Guardian Council may annul the votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district, or city like how it was done in the parliamentary elections," Kadkhodaei said.

"Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place," he added.

Iran's Interior Ministry declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the June 12th election with almost two-thirds of the vote.

The defeated candidates, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaei, cried foul once the results were announced and reported over 600 irregularities in the electoral process to the Guardian Council.

Kadkhodaei also denied accusations that polling stations had closed before all voters could cast their ballots.

He said in some polling stations balloting had continued up to three-and-a-half-hours past the official 10 p.m. deadline.

"We had polling stations in Golestan Province that were open to voters until 2 a.m. Although 10 p.m. was announced as the closing time, polling stations were told to allow people to vote as long as there were queues," he said.

The council had agreed to randomly re-count 10% of the ballots. However, Mousavi and Karroubi rejected the move, calling for the annulment of the election.

The spokesman also announced that the Guardian Council has received reports from relevant provincial boards that have been assigned to look into complaints regarding illegal campaigning on Election Day, expelling candidate representatives from polling stations and paying for votes.

Kadkhodaei concluded that the initial reports showed that no "series of violations had occurred."

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