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Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Ebrahim Raisi

Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader takes an unassailable lead in Iran Presidential elections

TBL web desk

Initial results emerged so far from the June 18 Iran presidential election announced by the Election Office suggest that Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi has taken a wide lead over rivals with 17.8 million votes out of 28.6 million ballots counted.

Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister and Head of Election Office Jamal Araf announced on Saturday that 28.6 million ballots have been counted until 11:00 am local time June 19. The initial results, Araf said, show that Raisi obtained 17.8 million votes.

Mohsen Rezaei Mirqaed has 3.3 million votes so far and Abdolnaser Hemmati and Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh have obtained 2.4 million and one million votes respectively, according to initial results.

Though the final results are yet to be announced, Rezaei, Hemmati, and Ghazizadeh have already congratulated Raisi on his victory in separate messages.

Rezaei said that the Iranian nation proved once again that they would spare no efforts to safeguard the Islamic Republic and its security. Hemmati hoped that Raisi’s administration would elevate Iranians’ livelihood and provide them with welfare. Ghazizadeh thanked Iranians for their massive participation in the election despite their discontent over ‘the current administration’s performance’.

In a statement, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani congratulated the people of Iran and the supreme leader for an “epic and rare presence” in the elections, saying “your glorious and enemy-breaking participation led to the remorse and dejection of enemies and those who wish ill on this nation”.

Earlier Rouhani congratulated “the people’s elected [president]”, without naming Raisi.

Iran’s presidential election was held nationwide and in 133 countries on June 18. The election was due to end at 07:00 p.m. local time, but it was extended twice until 2:00 a.m. June 19.

Some 500 international journalists from 226 foreign media covered the event in Iran.

Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Mehralizadeh, and Alireza Zakani, three other presidential candidates, dropped out of the presidential race.

The 13th presidential election was held simultaneous with the sixth round of city and village councils elections, the first mid-term for the 11th parliament’s by-election, and the second mid-term for the fifth Assembly of Experts election.

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