Leader urges Iranians to participate in parliamentary elections
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his vote for the 7th Majlis elections Friday morning.
The Leader cast his vote in the ballot box at 8:27 (0457 GMT) just a short time after the beginning of nationwide voting.
"It is a great day for the nation and the country, Khamenei said. "I hope, the election result will be a blessing for the nation and the country. God willing the election will have a useful result."
"I think this election is more important than the former ones. Because the counter Revolutionaries are making efforts to stop people from voting," he stated.
Observers said hard-liners appeared almost certain to retake control of Iran's legislature in the parliamentary elections after hundreds of reformist candidates were disqualified and liberals called on Iranians to boycott the vote.
More than 2,400 candidates who sought greater political and social openness were barred.
All the parliament 290 seats are up for election.
Liberals have called for a mass no-show to embarrass the conservative leadership and weaken the credibility of the new parliament.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)