Friday, June 24, 2005

Election halted in several voting stations

Islamic Republic News Agency:
Spokesman for Interior Ministry's Election Headquarters Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said here Friday, "Unfortunately we have received numerous reports on interference and illegal presence of unauthorized individuals at voting stations, based on which the head of Tehran Inspectors' Council has ordered the governor to halt the election process at several stations."

Speaking to the reporters at the Interior Ministry he added, "Halting the voting process at any station needs to be done after gaining the confirmation from the Guardians Council and prior to that no news on the issue can be dispatched."

Khanjani said, "All organs within the Interior Ministry firmly believe they are obliged to ensure continuation of election under sound circumstances and therefore we stand firm to safeguard the nation's rights in elections."

Referring to the occurrence of violations of the Elections Law, he said, "Motorcyclists were actively distributing posters and leaflets in favor of a candidate throughout Tehran today."

Khanjani said, "Reports we have received at the Interior Ministry are well documented, but before they are fully proved to respective officials we cannot announce them to the public."

He added, "Supervisors of the Guardians Council must be present at the voting stations, at the same time their interference in election process is prohibited, just as the interference of the candidates' representatives."

Spokesman of the Interior Ministry's Election Headquarters emphasized, "Members of each voting station are obliged to report any violation of the country's Election Law to the observers of the Interior Ministry and the disciplinary forces inside each station, too, are obliged to counter all such violations."

Khanjani added, "A combination of most trustful officials are commissioned to safeguard the people's votes and the Interior Minister himself is in charge of safeguarding the sound process of the elections, so under such circumstances how we are supposed to yield to presence of the unauthorized individuals at the stations that interrupt the sound process of voting?"

He emphasized, "It is not important for the Interior Ministry which candidate would win the election and we do not care who votes in favor of whom at which station, since our main concern is holding a sound and legal election."

Khanjani said, "We still cannot claim that the election process has turned from sound to abnormal, but for instance from one voting station we have received a report on the entry of a group of unauthorized figures equipped with certain instruments, and therefore we ordered that the voting should be immediately halted in that station."

The spokesman of the country's Elections Headquarters said, "Reporting of violations of the Election Law at such a broad level is quite unprecedented and according to latest reports the violations are no longer limited to trivial illegal affairs."

He meanwhile emphasized, "It is quite probable that a certain group is determined to tarnish the election but the country's security system, too, are mobilized to counter such moves more concerted than ever before."

Khanjani added, "Unfortunately the members of the Guardian Council have been propagating certain news in their interviews with the mass media ever since yesterday morning, the authenticity of some parts of which is not confirmed yet, but we ask the members of the Guardian Council to seriously refrain from dispatching baseless news." Unfortunately some members of that body have at various levels spread lies, but in order to safeguard the election process from being disturbed we currently do not answer their lies." READ MORE

Khanjani at the end asked the mass media representatives to reflect the news on elections "accurately and precisely authentic." 2329/1416
The government is fighting the government here. The fissures in the regime are growing larger.