Saturday, June 15, 2013

Moderate leads presidential poll, Iran's early results show

    Saturday, June 15, 2013   No comments

Early results show moderate cleric Hassan Rohani leading Iran’s presidential election, officials said Saturday. With almost 20% of votes counted, Rohani had garnered 51.2% – more than the 50% needed to avoid a June 21 run-off.

Moderate Iranian cleric Hassan Rohani took a strong lead over conservative rivals in initial vote counting on Saturday, suggesting he could win the presidential election outright without a run-off.

The outcome is unlikely to radically alter relations between Iran and the world or lead to a shift in the Islamic Republic’s policy on its disputed nuclear programme - security issues that are decided by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But the president does have an important voice in decision-making in the Shi’ite Muslim country of 75 million and could bring a change from the confrontational style of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term.

If he wins, Rohani, a moderate who is a former chief nuclear negotiator known for his conciliatory approach, has indicated he would promote foreign policy based on “constructive interaction with the world” and enact a “civil rights charter” at home.

In an apparent attempt to signal political continuity, Khamenei said on Saturday that whatever the result of Friday’s election, it would be a vote of confidence in the 34-year-old Islamic Republic.

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