Iran’s Presidential Election officially ended late Saturday. An 80% turn out is estimated. Vote counting still continuing.
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According to the latest official results announced by Iran’s Interior Ministry with 23,014,873 ballots counted so far, the moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani is leading with 11,754,013 votes which is 51.07% of the counted votes followed by Tehran’s Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf with 3,494,938 which is 15.19% of the counted votes.
If a candidate wins over 50 percent of the vote in the first round, he will replace the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Otherwise a run-off will be held in a week’s time to determine a final winner in the race.
The former head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is in third place with 1,518,964 votes, closely followed by the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, Saeed Jalili with 1,400,712 votes.
Ali Akbar Velayati a former Foreign Minister and an advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader with 729,044 votes and former Oil Minister of the country Sayed Mohammad Gharazi with 143,301 votes are on the bottom of the list.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday a high turn-out in the presidential election is more important than anything else.
“My expectation from our dear people is that they participate [in the elections],” He said shortly after casting his vote on Friday.
“Enemies are trying to discourage people from voting,” he added.
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Ali Akbar Velayati issued statements shortly after voting ended and thanked the Iranian nation for their participation in Iran’s election.
Hassan Rouhani’s campaign also issued a similar statement praising people’s high turn-out in Iran’s eleventh Presidential Election.
Former two-term President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who backed Rowhani in the elections issued a statement on Saturday calling Iran’s elections, the most democratic elections in the world.
“Iranians demonstrated their ignorance to foreign and domestic propaganda. Our enemies should confess that Iran has the most democratic election in the world and they can’t cast doubts on results,” the statement read.
He also appreciated the “Elections authorities” for the perfect conduct of the elections.
“The Tsunami of the Iranian nation beat the White House,” said Mohammad Reza Naghdi the commander of the Basij force (People’s Militia). “The High turn-out in the Iranian election proves the trust of the people to the Islamic establishment.”
Who is Hassan Rowhani (The overwhelming frontrunner)?
Hassan Rowhani entered Iran’s parliament in 1981, and remained an MP for 5 Parliamentary sessions, he was the deputy speaker in the fourth and fifth parliaments which were among the most fundamentalist parliaments in the Islamic Republic and in which the reformist were under much pressure.
He has been the Supreme Leader’s representative to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council since its establishment.
He has been a member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999 and member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Expediency Council since 1991.
Rowhani is also a member of the fundamentalist ” Combatant Clergy Association”, ( Jame’e-ye Rowhaniyat-e Mobarez).