TEHRAN -- An Iranian election official said Monday over 59 million people are eligible to vote in the 2021 presidential election on June 18.
Esmaeil Mousavi, the spokesman of the Interior Ministry’s Election Committee, said that 59,310,307 Iranians can cast votes in the forthcoming presidential election.
More than 72,000 polling stations will be set up across the country, including mobile ones, according to Mousavi.
He said except for Tehran, voting would be electronic in 24 provincial capitals, where no paper ballots or usual ballot boxes would be used.
The Iranians will pick their next president from among seven candidates, who are now in the middle of intense campaigning.
The campaign events will run until June 16, after which the candidates will observe a day of pre-election silence prior to the crucial vote.
City council, midterm parliamentary, and Assembly of Experts elections will be held simultaneously with the presidential vote.
Presidential candidate Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi said Monday 40 percent of Iran’s productive capacity remains inoperative, pledging efforts to activate the dormant capacities as a solution to the country’s high unemployment rate.
At a question-and-answer TV show with the elite, Raisi who serves as the Judiciary chief described production as a factor that helps the country build up power.
Raisi said 40 percent of the country’s production capacity remains unused today.
“In the Judiciary, we activated 2,000 production units, but hundreds of others remain to get functional. We can resolve the unemployment issue through the activation of these capacities,” he said.
Raisi said measures should be taken to protect manufactures should be protected against the banking system, which charges them with an interest rate of 35 percent for providing them with facilities, although the maximum interest rate should not exceed the 18 percent set by the Central Bank and its Commission on Money and Credit.
“We asked the administration to prevent that, but it said it could not work this out with the banks,” said Raisi, stressing that the Central Bank should take control and impose its management on banks instead of making mere recommendations to them.
Elsewhere, Raisi emphasized the need to seriously tackle unemployment and high housing prices, which the youth mainly blame for their failure to start families.
“I have already started the construction of housing units in Mashhad, where 600 housing units have been built in 10 blocks for couples who are studying at university,” he said.
Raisi had earlier pledged to build four million housing units during its four-year term as part of his agenda to address high housing prices.
He said the economy should be fortified to the extent that it would be able to stand unshaken in the face of hostilities, sanctions, natural disasters, and pandemics.
“A good manager is one who gets different minds, experts, and capacities involved in the job. We need to bring together a harmonious economic team that has convergence. Things should be done on the back of consultations with experts,” Raisi said.
The country, he said, cannot be run with “factionalism and by standing on ceremony,” and “a serious management was needed.”