Vast Voter Turnout:

Iranian President Rouhani Re-elected

Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 17:32
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Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani was decisively chosen as the victor of the country’s presidential election, giving him a second four-year term to fulfill his goals in seeking greater freedoms and reaching out to the wider world.

70 percent of Iran’s 56 million voters cast ballots, and final tallies released by the Interior Ministry showed Rouhani, Iran's seventh president in the lead with 59 percent or 38.9 million votes counted.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a statement Saturday commending the Iranian people for their "massive and epic" turnout in the country's elections.

"The winner of the yesterday's elections, is you, the Iranian people, and the Islamic establishment, which has managed to win the increasing trust of this big nation despite the enemies' plot and effort," he said.

Rouhani has become known for his character and openness in the conservative Islamic Republic and better relations with the outside world. He is responsible for the nuclear deal that relaxed economic sanctions on the country. His nearest challenger was cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who garnered 15.7 million votes, which made up 38.5 percent of the counted tally. Other contenders in the electoral race were Mostafa Mirsalim, a former culture minister, and Mostafa Hashemitaba, a pro-reform figure, who cumulatively won under 500,000 votes. Two of the candidates, Eshagh Jahangiri and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf dropped out before the election to throw their support to Rouhani and Raisi respectively.

Hashemitaba was among the first to predict an outright win for Rouhani as he offered his congratulations Saturday morning. “Rouhani will apply his ever-increasing efforts for the dignity of Iran” in his next term, the reformist said.

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