Ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi wins landslide victory in Iran’s presidential election

Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi received the nation’s presidential election in a landslide victory Saturday, propelling the supreme chief’s protege into Tehran’s highest civilian place in a vote that appeared to see the bottom turnout in the Islamic Republic’s historical past.

Initial outcomes confirmed Ebrahim Raisi received 17.8 million votes in the competition, dwarfing these of the race’s sole average candidate. However, Raisi dominated the election solely after a panel beneath the watch of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei disqualified his strongest competitors.

His candidacy, and the sense the election served extra as a coronation for him, sparked widespread apathy amongst eligible voters in the Islamic Republic, which has held up turnout as an indication of help for the theocracy since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Some, together with former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, referred to as for a boycott.

In preliminary outcomes, former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei received 3.3 million votes and average Abdolnasser Hemmati obtained 2.4 million, stated Jamal Orf, the top of Iran’s Interior Ministry election headquarters. The race’s fourth candidate, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, had round 1 million votes, Orf stated.

Hemmati provided his congratulations on Instagram to Raisi early Saturday.

“I hope your administration provides causes for pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran, improves the economy and life with comfort and welfare for the great nation of Iran,” he wrote.

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On Twitter, Rezaei praised Khamenei and the Iranian folks for collaborating in the vote.

“God willing, the decisive election of my esteemed brother, Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, promises the establishment of a strong and popular government to solve the country’s problems,” Rezaei wrote.

The fast concessions, whereas commonplace in Iran’s earlier elections, signaled what semiofficial information companies inside Iran had been hinting at for hours: That the fastidiously managed vote had been a blowout win for Raisi amid the boycott calls.

As night time fell Friday, turnout appeared far decrease than in Iran’s final presidential election in 2017. At one polling place inside a mosque in central Tehran, a Shiite cleric performed soccer with a younger boy as most of its staff napped in a courtyard. At one other, officers watched movies on their cellphones as state tv blared beside them, providing solely tight photographs of places across the nation — versus the lengthy, snaking strains of previous elections.

Balloting got here to a detailed at 2.a.m. Saturday, after the federal government prolonged voting to accommodate what it referred to as “crowding” at a number of polling locations nationwide. Paper ballots, stuffed into massive plastic containers, had been to be counted by hand by the night time, and authorities stated they anticipated to have preliminary outcomes and turnout figures Saturday morning on the earliest.

“My vote will not change anything in this election, the number of people who are voting for Raisi is huge and Hemmati does not have the necessary skills for this,” stated Hediyeh, a 25-year-old girl who gave solely her first identify whereas hurrying to a taxi in Haft-e Tir Square after avoiding the polls. “I have no candidate here.”

Iranian state tv sought to downplay the turnout, pointing to the Gulf Arab sheikhdoms surrounding it dominated by hereditary leaders, and the decrease participation in Western democracies. After a day of amplifying officers’ makes an attempt to get out the vote, state TV broadcast scenes of jam-packed voting cubicles in a number of provinces in a single day, searching for to painting a last-minute rush to the polls.

But because the 1979 revolution overthrew the shah, Iran’s theocracy has cited voter turnout as an indication of its legitimacy, starting with its first referendum that received 98.2% help that merely requested whether or not or not folks wished an Islamic Republic.

The disqualifications affected reformists and people backing Rouhani, whose administration each reached the 2015 nuclear cope with world powers and noticed it disintegrate three years later with then-President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of America from the accord.

Voter apathy additionally has been fed by the devastated state of the economic system and subdued campaigning amid months of surging coronavirus instances. Poll staff wore gloves and masks, and a few wiped down poll containers with disinfectants.

If elected, Raisi could be the primary serving Iranian president sanctioned by the U.S. authorities even earlier than getting into workplace over his involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988, in addition to his time as the top of Iran’s internationally criticized judiciary — one of many world’s prime executioners.

It additionally would put hard-liners firmly in management throughout the federal government as negotiations in Vienna proceed to attempt to save a tattered deal meant to restrict Iran’s nuclear program at a time when Tehran is enriching uranium at its highest ranges ever, although it nonetheless stays wanting weapons-grade ranges. Tensions stay excessive with each the U.S. and Israel, which is believed to have carried out a sequence of assaults concentrating on Iranian nuclear websites in addition to assassinating the scientist who created its army atomic program many years earlier.

Whoever wins will seemingly serve two four-year phrases and thus might be on the helm at what might be probably the most essential moments for the nation in many years — the demise of the 82-year-old Khamenei. Speculation already has begun that Raisi is perhaps a contender for the place, together with Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba.

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