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Top Iran Body Rejects Annulment Of Poll

Mir Hossein Musavi has called for the June 12 vote to be annulled.
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran's top vetting body has again ruled out any annulment of the June 12 presidential election, as demanded by two defeated candidates, state television reports.

"Iran's Guardians Council rejects annulment of the June 12 presidential election, saying that there have been no major polling irregularities," the English-language Press TV said.

The report came a day after one of the defeated candidates, pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karrubi, repeated his call for the council to annul the election, which official results showed was won by hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

"Instead of wasting time on recounting some ballot boxes...cancel the vote," Karrubi said in a letter to the council.

Moderate former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Musavi, Ahmadinejad's main challenger in the election, has also called for the vote to be annulled, citing irregularities.

The council had made clear before that it would not annul the election, saying last week it was only ready to recount a random 10 percent of the votes cast.

The authorities reject opposition charges of vote fraud.

Official results of the election, released on June 13, sparked the most widespread street protests in Iran since the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The defeated candidates have submitted a total of 646 complaints about the election.

Earlier this week, a Guardians Council spokesman said one common complaint was that the number of votes surpassed eligible voters in some constituencies.

But the spokesman, Abbasali Kadkhodai, said it may have been due to the fact Iranians could vote wherever they wanted and that in any case it would not have had any major impact on the election result.

The council is a 12-man body, six senior clerics appointed by the supreme leader and six Islamic jurists, which must ensure all laws agree with Islamic Shari'a law and Iran's Constitution.

It also vets aspiring candidates for presidential elections and must approve the election results.

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