After multiple extensions, polls close in Iran general elections

WION Web Team New Delhi Feb 22, 2020, 07.57 AM(IST)

Voting procedures in Iran Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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The vote had been due to end at 1430 GMT, but it was extended at least five times and finally closed at 2030 GMT to allow a maximum number of people to cast their ballots.

After multiple extensions and delays polls in Iran's eleventh parliamentary election came to an end, news agency AFP reported quoting news agencies Tasnim and Fars.

The crucial polls come at a time when Iran is tackling escalating tensions with the US and the outbreak of the coronavirus with at least four deaths.

Initial results are expected later today. 

Hardliners loyal to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are likely to sweep a parliamentary election on Friday that will cement their grip on power as the country faces mounting US pressure over its nuclear programme and growing discontent at home, the report added.

In order to allow a maximum number of people to cast their ballots, the polling was extended at least five times and finally closed at 2030 GMT. 

The vote will have no influence on Iran's foreign policy which is decided by the supreme leader but it might bolster hardliners in the 2021 contest for president and toughen Tehran's foreign policy.

Iranian authorities earlier forecast a turnout of about 50%, compared to 62% and 66% respectively in the 2016 and 2012 votes, the report said.

(With inputs from agencies)