Friday, June 24, 2005

Hundreds of Polling Stations are Virtually Deserted

Iran Focus:
Hundreds of polling stations in Tehran and other towns and cities monitored were virtually empty in the early hours of voting period today during Iran’s second round presidential elections. READ MORE

In Tehran, about a dozen people were seen queuing up in Geisha, Karaj Al-Mehdi Mosque, and North Amirabad polling stations.

Independent observes said, however, that a half-dozen locations in Tehran, including Hosseineh Ershad, Lorzadeh and Saddeqieh mosques had relatively high turnout.

To stage a large crowd at these selected polling stations, the authorities moved in hundreds of members of the paramilitary Bassij and Islamic vigilantes to vote in front of television cameras.

Polling stations in other major towns and cities such as Shiraz, Ahwaz, Qaemshahr, Hamedan, Neka, Roudsar, Bandar Abbas, Siahkal and Khoramabad were practically deserted despite an eleventh hour appeal by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and incumbent President Mohammad Khatami for high turnout.