TEHRAN: The 10-hour voting period in Iran’s presidential election on Friday is to be extended because of a “rush of voters”, Interior Minister Mostafa Moammad Najar said.
“Because of the rush of voters, voting will be extended for sure,” beyond the scheduled close of 6 pm (1330 GMT), he said, quoted by Fars news agency.
Iran is electing a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who after serving two consecutive terms is constitutionally barred from running.
The voting was taking, according to the hardline Guardians Council electoral watchdog, “without any problems.”
The interior ministry has not given turnout figures but some polling stations in the capital were packed with voters, according to AFP journalists.
State television also broadcast footage of long queues at polling stations across the country where more than 50 million people are eligible to vote.
Six candidates are competing, with moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani, who has the backing of Iran’s marginalised reformists, considered a frontrunner.
Rowhani faces stiff competition from a slate of divided conservatives, all seen as close to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has the final say on key state issues.