Iranian presidential election heads into runoff

Lazy eyes listen


Iran will hold a second round of its presidential election after none of the candidates secured enough votes for victory during Friday’s ballot, the Interior Ministry has said.

The snap election was called after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province on May 19.

The results of the first round mean that two of the candidates – reformist Masoud Pezeshkian and conservative Saeed Jalili – will compete in a runoff, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday.

With all ballots counted, Pezeshkian secured 10.4 million votes (42.45%), with Jalili on 9.5 million votes (38.61%).

Their two other contenders – Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Mostafa Pourmohammadi – fell out of the race, with 13.78% and 0.84% of ballots, respectively.

According to Iranian law, a candidate needs to garner at least 50% plus 1 vote to be declared president.

Turnout stood at 24.5 million, or 40% of the 61 million people eligible to vote. The second round will be held on Friday, July 5, according to the interior minister.

Pezeshkian, 69, is a heart surgeon-turned-politician, who served as health minister in the 2000s and as first deputy speaker of parliament from 2016 to 2020. Jalili, 58, was Tehran’s negotiator during nuclear talks with the world powers. He is now a member of the Expediency Discernment Council, which advises Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.