Iran: Top legislative body rules out election annulment

Tehran, 23 June (AKI) - Iran's top legislative body or Guardian Council has said it would not annul the results of the 12 June election as demanded by two reformist candidates, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi.

"If a major breach occurs in an election, the Guardian Council may annul the votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district, or city, like how it was done in the parliamentary elections," said the council's spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei late on Monday, quoted by Iran's state English-language broadcaster, Press TV.

"Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place," he added.

Earlier on Monday however, Kadkhodaei said that votes cast in over 50 Iranian cities were higher than the number of eligible voters, thus confirming suspicions by Mousavi's supporters of election fraud.

Kadkhodaei told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB on Monday that three million votes were under scrutiny, but that it "has yet to be determined whether the amount is decisive in the election results."

The official election results gave a landslide victory to incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, resulting in deadly protests that observers say are constitute the most dramatic upheaval seen in the country in more than 30 years since the Islamic revolution.

At least 19 people have been killed or injured in the nationwide protests. However, figures are impossible to verify as the Iranian government has imposed a ban on foreign media coverage.

The Iran Human Rights website however quoted unofficial reports as saying at least 150 people may have died in the clashes.

According to official Iranian media, Ahmadinejad received 62.3 percent of the vote, or 24.5 million votes, compared to Mousavi's 33.7 percent or 13.2 million votes.


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