The turnout was low. Nonetheless, there was apparently already enough for a winner in the first round of voting: the conservative head of the judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi. His competitors have already congratulated him, as has outgoing President Ruhani.
According to official partial results, Ebrahim Raisi won Iran’s presidential election with more than 62 percent of the vote. Of 28.6 million ballots counted, “more than 17.8 million” went to Raisi, the chairman of the national election commission said Saturday in Tehran. According to the statement, runner-up Mohsen Resai received only 3.3 million votes.
The outgoing president, Hassan Ruhani, said the winner of the vote was clear. “I congratulate the people on their choice,” he said in a televised address Saturday, though he did not yet mention the winner’s name.
The ultra-conservative judiciary chief’s opponents congratulated him on Twitter, Instagram and in statements published by Iranian media before the official results were announced. Moderate candidate and former central bank chief Abdolsnasser Hemmati conceded on Instagram on Saturday that he had lost the vote to conservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi. Resaei, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guard, also said Raisi clearly won the election.
Counting of votes still ongoing
Raisi is considered a protégé of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the favorite after the so-called Guardian Council did not even admit his most promising opponents to the election. More than 59.3 million Iranians were eligible to vote. The level of turnout is still unclear while votes are still being counted. However, it looked like a low turnout.
After the exclusion of all other promising candidates, Raisi’s election was considered almost certain. The 60-year-old cleric sees himself as a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed; among the Shiite clergy, he holds the second-highest rank of hodshatoleslam. As a politician, the ultraconservative presents himself as a “relentless” fighter against poverty and corruption.
The political system of the Islamic Republic of Iran provides for a civilian government whose work is overseen by Khamenei as Supreme Leader of the Shiite clergy. He has the final say on all major issues and controls defense and the nuclear program.