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Iran to Hold Presidential Runoff Election on July 5


Runoff Election Announced

After the inconclusive presidential election held on June 18, Iran's Interior Ministry has announced that a runoff election will be held on July 5. The runoff will pit the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round: Ebrahim Raisi, the ultraconservative judiciary chief, and Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guard commander.

Leading Candidates

Ebrahim Raisi:

  • Judiciary chief since 2019
  • Closely aligned with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
  • Known for his hardline stance on social and political issues
  • Subject to U.S. sanctions for alleged human rights abuses

Mohsen Rezaei:

  • Former Revolutionary Guard commander-in-chief (1981-1997)
  • Secretary of the Expediency Council, a government advisory body
  • Considered a more moderate candidate compared to Raisi
  • Has advocated for economic reforms and increased foreign investment

Background of the Election

The presidential election is a crucial event in Iran's political calendar. The president is the head of the executive branch and has significant influence over domestic and foreign policy. The election has been closely watched by both domestic and international observers, as it could potentially shape the future direction of the country.

First Round Results

In the first round of the election, Raisi received 17.9 million votes (31.3%), while Rezaei received 3.3 million votes (5.8%). With no candidate securing more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election was triggered.

Runoff Campaign

The runoff campaign is expected to be highly contested, with both candidates trying to secure the support of voters who backed other candidates in the first round. Raisi is likely to focus on his conservative credentials and his close ties to Khamenei. Rezaei, on the other hand, may try to appeal to more moderate voters by highlighting his economic policies and his experience in foreign affairs.

Significance of the Election

The outcome of the election will have a significant impact on Iran's future. Raisi's victory would signal a shift towards a more conservative and hardline government, while Rezaei's win would suggest a desire for change and reform. The election will also be closely watched by the international community, as it could influence Iran's relations with other countries, particularly the United States.

Voter Turnout and Participation

The voter turnout in the first round of the election was 48.8%, the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It remains to be seen whether turnout will increase in the runoff. The low voter turnout has been attributed to factors such as political apathy, economic problems, and concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Reactions

The announcement of a runoff election has been met with mixed reactions from the international community. Some countries, such as the United States, have expressed concern about the fairness and transparency of the election process. Others, such as Russia, have congratulated Raisi on his strong showing in the first round.

Path Forward

The runoff election on July 5 will determine who will succeed Hassan Rouhani as Iran's next president. The outcome of the election will shape the country's domestic and foreign policies for the next four years. It is hoped that the runoff campaign will be conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner, and that the results will be accepted by all stakeholders.

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