Iran Awaiting Big Turnout in Parliament Polls

A00237925.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- This Friday Iranians are expected to stage a massive turnout in parliamentary elections seen as a message to the West.

People are well aware of the importance of a massive turnout to show national unity at a time of tension with the West over the Iranian nuclear program.

Ordinary and famous Iranians all emphasize the importance of voting in different places and on different occasions, including TV interviews.

“Iranians will take part in the elections more gloriously than the past and will thwart plots of bullying powers to undermine the Islamic system,” said Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a speech.

Iran’s arch foe, the United States has made every effort to prevent a massive turnout by the Iranians on the election day.

Campaigning was banned on Thursday for the final day before the elections.

On the last day of the week-long campaign Wednesday all coalitions stepped up their efforts in a final drive to win votes, handing out cards with the names of candidates to help voters through the complex election process.

“I’ll for sure vote and will take all my family too,” said Nazanin Kashani, 23, a female radiologist.

Four main coalitions have emerged from the array of factions that make up Iran’s political scene, in the absence of western style political parties.

Conservatives have split into “Broad” and “Unified” factions, with the former seen as pursuing tactics and policies somehow different from the populist policies of President Ahmadinejad.

Reformists are represented by a coalition inspired by former president Mohammad Khatami as well as the slightly more centrist Etemad-e Melli (National Confidence) party of former Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi.

Candidates can stand for more than one list and a majority of conservative candidates for the 290-seat parliament are standing on both the “Broad” and “Unified” lists.

Compared with other chambers in the region, the Iranian parliament wields a respectable amount of power.

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