News / Middle East

    Moderate Candidate Has Early Lead in Iran's Presidential Election

    Presidential candidates from left: Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, parliament lawmaker, and Hasan Rowhani, former top nuclear negotiator, attend TV debate, Tehran, June 7, 2013.
    Presidential candidates from left: Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, parliament lawmaker, and Hasan Rowhani, former top nuclear negotiator, attend TV debate, Tehran, June 7, 2013.
    VOA News
    Early results from Iran's presidential election have moderate candidate Hassan Rowhani with the lead among the six candidates.  He has the support of reformists in Iran.

    Rowhani has just over 50 percent of the 12 million votes counted by Saturday morning. Tehran Mayor Bagher Qalibaf in second place is far behind with about 15 percent of the votes.

    It is not clear when the final results will be announced. About 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote, and Iranian media have reported turnout estimates of between 75 and 80 percent.

    To win, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the vote.  If no one succeeds after the initial vote, a runoff election will take place next Friday.

    Officials extended voting by several hours Friday to accommodate what they described as a large turnout in the country's presidential election.  

    Millions of Iranians voted to choose a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is constitutionally barred from a third consecutive term.

    Analysts say the high interest in the carefully orchestrated campaign may be due to the candidacy of moderate cleric Rowhani. Iran's former nuclear negotiator picked up the endorsements of leading reformists.

    Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another reformist leader, who was barred from running by Iran's Guardian Council of clerics and jurists, also had urged his supporters not to boycott the election.

    Most other candidates in the the electioni, including current chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Tehran Mayor Qalibaf, are considered hardliners who are loyal to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    The supreme leader cast his vote in Tehran early Friday, telling U.S. officials who have been critical of the election, "the hell with you."

    Khamenei had been calling on Iranians to vote in large numbers.

    The election winner will be faced with an economy struggling with high unemployment and inflation, crippled by international sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear program.  

    While some candidates favor improved ties with the international community, major policy decisions rest with the supreme leader.

    Iran sealed most of its borders, rounded up dissidents and detained some journalists. Most foreign news organizations say their requests for visas to cover the election were unheeded by the government.

    One candidate seen as reformist, Mohammad Reza Aref, recently dropped out and then announced his support for Rowhani. Another candidate, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, dropped out of contention Monday saying he wanted to boost the chances of his fellow conservatives.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    June 15, 2013 1:26 PM
    The moderate cleric has actually won. Good. But how moderate is moderate in Iranian terms? With everything to be determined by the supreme leader, what should anyone expect from the so-called moderate cleric? But he is cleric first and foremost, and that should not be lost on anyone. So being cleric, it does not seem that anyone is going to expect much difference from what obtained in the past, maybe only a change in tactics, maybe some kind of diplomatic swap here and there while the status quo remains, at least in principle. Is the lot of the people in the country going to change? Are the people going to be opened up to see what is going on around them and in the world? Will it still be Mr. Khamenei calling the shorts and threatening even the president who may be just a rubber stamp after all? What is going to change if at the end Hassan Rowhani's election is ratified? Will he afford to change Iran from a confrontational belligerent to a friendly country? Will he change Ahmadinejad's stand against Israel and civilization? Iran can only be a bunch of questions for now until we see what comes after the elections.

    by: ST12 from: Iran
    June 14, 2013 11:33 PM
    another "moderate"... hey VOA you keep corrupting the English language - you are becoming an Islamic propaganda BS

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora