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Rouhani beats Raisi in vote for second term

Rouhani beats Raisi in vote for second term

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May 20, 2017 - 20:35

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Iran's President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected on Saturday in the country’s presidential election, with support from reformists.

Iran’s interior minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, on Saturday announced the results of the elections among four candidates for the presidency.

Of the 41 million votes cast,  Rouhani collected 23 million (or 57 percent), soundly defeating his chief opponent, Ebrahim Raisi, who received 15.7 million (38.5 percent).

The elections in Iran were conducted yesterday and Iranians living inside and outside the country were able to cast votes. The voting was delayed for 12 days from its official time.

The Iran’s interior ministry said some 41.2 million people participated in the elections.

Iran's state television declared Rouhani the winner on Saturday, giving the 68-year-old cleric a second four-year term to see out his agenda calling for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider worldinfo-icon.

State TV offered its congratulations in a brief statement Saturday, based on vote tallies. The latest election tallies released by the Interior Ministry showed Rouhani with a commanding lead of 59 percent, with 38.9 million votes counted.

As Rouhani appeared close to victory, some female drivers held out the V for victory sign and flashed their car lights on highways in Tehran's affluent north.

Iran's president is the second-most powerful figure within Iran's political system. He is subordinate to the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has the ultimate say over all matters of state.

Friday's vote was largely a referendum on Rouhani's more moderate political policies, which paved the way for the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that won Iran relief from some sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi, is close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, who stopped short of endorsing anyone in the election. Raisi ran a populist campaign, vowing to fight corruption and fix the economy while boosting welfare payments to the poor.

sns/ma

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