Reformist’ candidate wins Iran’s presidential election

Iran President, Hassan Rouhani
Iran President, Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani polled more than 50 per cent of the votes.

Iran has a new president-elect, as cleric Hassan Rouhani, backed by reformists, won the presidential election.

Mr. Rouhani secured just over 50 per cent of the votes to avoid a run-off, the BBC is reporting.

About 72.2 percent of the 50 million eligible voters partook in the election with Tehran Mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, coming a distant second.

The Iranian Interior Minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, announced that Mr. Rouhani had won 18,613,329 of the 36,704,156 votes cast, representing 50.68% of the vote.

He said Mr. Qalibaf won 6,077,292 votes to take second place and that dissatisfied candidates unhappy with the results would have three days to lodge complaints to the Guardian Council.

The winning candidate needed more than 50% of all ballots cast, including invalid ones, to avoid a run-off.

Voting had been extended by five hours on Friday evening to allow more people to cast their ballots.

Mr. Rouhani, 64, was seen as the moderate among the six candidates in the elections. He has held several parliamentary posts and served as chief nuclear negotiator. He got support from Mohammad Reza Aref, the main reformist candidate in the race, who announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing on the advice of pro-reform ex-President Mohammad Khatami, who also declared support for the eventual winner.

Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who did not openly declare support for any of the candidates but is believed to have backed conservative candidates, is scheduled to ratify the election on August 3.

The new president to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will then take the oath in parliament.

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