Iran starts parliamentary elections


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TEHRAN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran's parliamentary election campaign officially started across the country on Thursday.

According to Iran's Guardians Council of Constitution, the main entity in charge of vetting candidates, more than seven thousand candidates have been approved to compete in the February election.

Iranian people will go to the ballot boxes on Feb. 21 to elect the lawmakers for 290-seat parliament.

Nearly 58 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the 11th round of parliamentary elections.

Out of eligible people to cast a ballot in the election, 50.13 percent are men.

The two main parliamentary camps, namely reformists and principalities, have issued the list of candidates they want to field.

Last week, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Iranians to actively participate in the upcoming elections.

Khamenei advised some Iranian media and officials to avoid "talking in a way to discourage people from attending the elections."

He also said that the enemy "exaggerates" the disputes and uses them against Iran.

The Iranian top leader called for big turnout in the election, saying that it will disappoint the enemy.

According to the state TV, the 11th parliamentary elections and the midterm elections for the Assembly of Experts, a body whose members designate the country's Leader, are to be held simultaneously on Feb. 21.