Rouhani secures second term with landslide victory

May 20, 2017

TEHRAN – Hassan Rouhani reelected president in the Friday election, after a month of heated competition with conservative rivals.

Rouhani, who represented moderates and reformers in the campaigns, won 23.5 million (or 57 percent) of the total vote, while his closest rival, Ebrahim Raisi, received 15.7 million (38.5 percent), the Interior Ministry announced on Saturday.

The other presidential candidates, Mostafa Mirsalim and Mostafa Heshmitaba also collected 478,215 and 215,450 votes respectively while Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and Tehran’s Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf dropped out of the race days before the election.

More than 70 percent of the country’s 56 million eligible voters casted their ballots in what became a resounding victory for the self-described moderate president.

In his first remarks after winning re-election on Saturday, Rouhani, who enjoyed the support of the reformists, vowed to deliver everything that he had promised in his campaign trail. 

“The great nation of Iran, you are the real winners of the election... I shall remain loyal to my commitments to you,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

In the past several weeks, Raisi, a principlist candidate who is the custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad, and Ghalibaf attacked the Rouhani administration for its inept handling of the economy and for failing to deliver on his promises.

In the 2013 election, Rouhani secured more than 50% of the vote and won the election by a wide margin against five mostly conservative candidates. Ghalibaf, who was his main rival, came a distant second to him with 16.5% of the vote.

During his campaign trail, Rouhani boasted his administration’s success in clinching a nuclear agreement with six world powers in 2015, which mostly lifted nuclear-related sanctions against the country.

However, critics say his administration has not been able to fully benefit from the sanctions relief. Rouhani was also strongly criticized during the presidential debates for failing to revive the economy.

The nuclear deal, which is largely viewed positively inside Iran, was among the most important determining factors in the Friday election. The deal brought hope to millions of Iranians.

Despite the growing tension with the new U.S. administration and fears over President Donald Trump’s anti-Iran stance, Rouhani said in the last presidential debate that he will “break all the sanctions against Iran”.

The election took place as Trump visited Saudi Arabia, a country which is at odds with Iran over the crises in Yemen, Syria, and popular uprising in Bahrain.

After Trump was elected, the Saudis and some other Arab countries in the region became hopeful that the hardline president will take a harsher tone with Iran than his predecessor, President Barack Obama. 

MH/PA

Comments

  • 2017-05-20 19:01
    Mubarkaa, Rouhani saheb. May God help you take Iran to its historically lofty place in the world! Amen!
  • 2017-05-21 13:49
    Congratulation Mr. Rouhani to become President of Iran again....from India

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