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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs