Iranian voters hope for economic growth

Ahead of parliamentary elections, Al Jazeera asked voters about the issues that mattered most to them.

Iran elections 2016
Voters will head to the polls for the country's parliamentary elections on Friday [Mohammad Ali Najib/Al Jazeera]

Iranian voters are due to cast their ballots on Friday in the country’s first parliamentary elections after the implementation of a nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.

Marzieh, 22
Iranian voter Marzieh [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]
Iranian voter Marzieh [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]
I’m going to vote for parliament for the first time because I want to use my right to elect representatives I think are more qualified, and I want to play a role in forming the destiny of my country.

I believe elections in Iran are totally free and everyone can vote for his or her favourite candidates.

Since parliamentarians are representatives of people, I expect them to consider the living conditions, concerns and difficulties of people as the most important issues in their job.

Ali Movahedian, 32, clerk
Iranian voter Ali Movahedian [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]
Iranian voter Ali Movahedian [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]

At first, I had no intention to vote, but I later came to the conclusion that the participation of people in the 2013 presidential elections had a great impact, and because of the president people elected, the nuclear issue was solved.

Now, to elect an efficient parliament which is not politicised and works along with government, I will take part in elections. It would be better if there was a law banning candidates from spending wastefully and disrespecting each other.

The parliament is responsible for legislation and must set better laws in areas such as culture, politics, judiciary, economy, etc.

Ramin, 42, self-employed
Iranian voter Ramin [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]
Iranian voter Ramin [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]

I voted for President Hassan Rouhani but I don’t want to vote this round, because I have no trust in the running candidates. Previous campaign promises have not been realised because of public deception. I am tired of political games.

I have not read election laws, but I believe that some circles of power and wealth have some influence in the outcome of the elections.

I expect the parliament to set grounds for economic growth, reduce unemployment, and prevent corruption.

Reza Taghibeiglu, 40, publisher
Iranian voter Reza Taghibeiglu [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]
Iranian voter Reza Taghibeiglu [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]

I’m going to vote as I think it is the only way to have a say and influence in society.

Since President Rouhani’s government is holding the elections, I think it will be fair; however, we don’t have many choices left.

The issues the parliament must address are not separated from each other and are interrelated; political, economic and cultural development must happen together. But with the current situation, economic development and improvement of living conditions and flourishing businesses can be a priority.

Sajjad, 29, filmmaker
Iranian voter Sajjad [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]
Iranian voter Sajjad [Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh/Al Jazeera]

In the presidential election, I voted for Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, and I will participate in these elections because the reinforcement of the Islamic Republic is very important to me.

I don’t think the election system in Iran is fair, and it has a long distance to go to achieve justice. Since influence of power in elections is not easily seen, its unfairness is greater.

I expect the parliament to promote a meritocracy among officials, to put the country on the track of development.

Khadijeh, 23, MA student of law

I will vote on Friday because I see no reason for not voting; it might sound like a very stereotypical answer, but voting is the legal and religious duty of every person.

However, when it comes to execution of the law – not only in this particular round, but also in all elections – the laws are not well observed. In this round, we are witnessing illegalities by candidates who are not ordinary people, and they used to have high-ranking positions. They are supposed to know the regulations better than all, but they don’t follow the rules.

I expect representatives to abide by the rules and set rules which are executable and helpful for the people. I want them to help resolve basic problems with unemployment, marriage and housing.

Source: Al Jazeera