Wednesday 20 September 2017

Hassan Rouhani wins Iran's presidential election with 23.5 million votes

Iranian President and presidential candidate, Hassan Rouhani, speaks with reporters and photographers, who covered his campaign rallies, during a flight from northeastern city of Mashhad to Tehran late on May 17, 2017.(Photo credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian President and presidential candidate, Hassan Rouhani, speaks with reporters and photographers, who covered his campaign rallies, during a flight from northeastern city of Mashhad to Tehran late on May 17, 2017.(Photo credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has won the country's presidential election with some 57 percent of the total votes, the country's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmanifazli said on Saturday.

"Of some 41.2 million total votes cast, Rouhani got 23.5 ... and won the election," Rahmanifazli said in remarks carried live by state TV. Rouhani's hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi got 15.8 million votes, he said

Iran's state television congratulated President Hassan Rouhani for winning a re-election by handing an emphatic defeat to his hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi told journalists in a televised news conference that more than 40 million Iranians voted in Friday's election. That puts turnout above 70%.

Election officials repeatedly extended voting hours until midnight to accommodate long lines of voters, some of whom said they waited hours to cast their ballots.

Friday's vote was largely a referendum on Mr 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 programme.

The 68-year-old has come to embody more liberal and reform-minded Iranians' hopes for greater political freedom at home and better relations with the outside world.

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

It is still a powerful post. The president oversees a vast state bureaucracy employing more than two million people, is charged with naming Cabinet members and other officials to key posts, and plays a significant role in shaping both domestic and foreign policy.

All candidates for elected office must be vetted, a process that excludes anyone calling for radical change, along with most reformists. No woman has ever been approved to run for president.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

Reuters

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