Iranians went to the polls on Friday (14 March) in the first round of voting to elect a Parliament.
SV People at polling station and place papers in boxes (2 shots)
TV Iranian President Bani-Sadr arrives at polling booth
SV Wax seal being placed on ballot box
GV & SV Polling station with people in uniform milling around (5 shots)
SV PAN DOWN Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini posters
SV Ayatollah Khomeini enters to vote
SCU Official stamps book and CU stamp (2 shots)
GV Ayatollah Khomeini places vote in box and other people do same
SV Ayatollah Khomeini leaving room
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Background: Iranians went to the polls on Friday (14 March) in the first round of voting to elect a Parliament. Only candidates polling more than fifty percent of votes cast in their district will be elected, and the results aren't expected until next Thursday (20 March). In cases where candidates receive less than fifty percent, a second round of voting will be held in about three weeks. But the first day's polling was marred buy allegations of vote-rigging.
SYNOPSIS: There was a slow start to the voting, but by midday queues began to build up at polling stations. In the afternoon complaints were made that the pro-clergy Islamic Coalition was writing in the names of its nominees on the ballots of illiterate voters -- despite the precautions taken to prevent fraud.
Interviews with voters showed that well-known personalities like President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr appeared to be doing well, regardless of their party or policies. In Teheran, voters were faced with the daunting task of picking thirty representatives from a total of 433 candidates.
But few people seemed to be voting for a particular political group. One voter had included a moderate, a right-winger and a radical leftist in his choices. He explained that different viewpoints should be represented in Parliament.
The group most closely representing the views of the country's leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, is the Islamic Coalition, dominated by the Islamic Republican Party. The Ayatollah himself expressed no preference for a particular party in public, but cast his vote at a polling station in Teheran.
Allegations of vote manipulation came from the progressive Moslem Jama party. The party said complaints had been received from twenty polling stations that Islamic Coalition members had been given letters authorising them to vote for illiterates. A statement from the Interior Ministry supported the charges. It said voters were being given a list of Islamic Coalition candidates when they arrived at the polls -- contrary to election rules.