Iran Presidential Vote Under Way

Source: RFE/RL

The voting is under way in Iran in an election to choose a replacement for President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Opinion surveys have suggested a close race between moderate cleric and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani, who is backed by pro-reform elements, and conservative candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the current mayor of Tehran and a former security official.

Supreme Leader ayatollah Khamenei voting in Tehran

Four other hard-line candidates were also approved by the Guardian Council – current chief nuclear negotiator Said Jalili, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezaie, and former minister Mohammad Gharazi.

If no candidate captures a majority, the two top finishers will compete in a June 21 runoff.

ballot boxes

The June 14 vote comes four years after security forces cracked down on protesters alleging Ahamdinejad’s reelection had been secured through massive electoral fraud.

In the Islamic republic’s political system, Iran’s supreme leader, not the president, holds the ultimate decision-making power — including commanding the army.

Based on reports from Reuters, AFP and AP


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