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ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2017


Iran Presidential Election: Here's what we're watching

20 May 2017, 02:04 | Erica Roy

Iran Presidential Election: Here's what we're watching

Iran Presidential Election: Here's what we're watching

While the final, official count is still not released, sources within the Iranian government say that President Hassan Rouhanii has an insurmountable lead in today's presidential election, and will easily secure victory over hardline candidate Ebrahim Raisi.

With nearly all of the votes counted, Rouhani got 22.8 million votes compared to 15.5 million for his nearest challenger, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, according to the election committee chief Ali Asghar Ahmadi.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that voting for presidential and local elections in Iran has been extended for the third time stressing that polling will definitely end at 12pm local time (7:30pm GMT). If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two, presumably Rouhani and Raisi, would face each other a second time in a run-off in a week. The interior ministry said at midday that it had no reports of electoral offences so far, state television reported.Rouhani has urged the Guards not to meddle in the vote, a warning that reflects the political tension.

The Islamic Republic's first presidential election since the 2015 nuclear accord drew surprisingly large numbers of voters to polling stations, with some reporting waiting in line for hours to cast their votes.

Raisi has tried to gain support by promising more financial support to the working class and to triple cash handouts to the poor.

"Everyone should vote in this important election. vote at early hours", Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said after casting his vote in the capital Tehran.

Iranians living in Canada eager to cast ballots in Friday's all-important presidential election were forced to cross the border to vote in the US, or not vote at all.


More than 54 million people were eligible to vote in the presidential election.

Rouhani has vowed to work towards removing the remaining non-nuclear sanctions, but critics argue that will be hard with Donald Trump as U.S. president - Trump has repeatedly described it as "one of the worst deals ever signed", although his administration re-authorised waivers from sanctions this week.

"We want to be able to cast our votes in our own country and not have to take a day off work and travel this distance in order to be able to exercise that right", he said.

"We are still not pleased with the situation, but in the four years of Rouhani there has been a relative improvement and I'm voting to keep that", said Alireza Nikpour, a 40-year-old photographer in Tehran.

On Friday Iranians are voting in the first election since the.

Last month, the Guardian Council excluded all but six candidates for the election but still left a stark choice between moderate-reformists and hardliners.

That includes Rouhani openly criticizing hard-liners and Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force now involved in the war in Syria and the fight against Islamic State militants in neighboring Iraq.



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