Tehran, May 20 (IANS) Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has won a second term in office, state news agency reported on Saturday.
Rouhani defeated his conservative challenger Ebrahim Raisi in the Presidential election on Friday in a victory for the reformist camp in the predominantly Shia nation, IRNA reported.
Rouhani won 23,549,616 of the total 41,220,131 votes while Raeisi, a principlist candidate, received 15,786,449 ballots, said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli.
Two other hopefuls — Mostafa Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi Tab — won 478,215 and 215,450 votes respectively.
Over 40 million people took part in the polls and Rouhani received more than half of those counted, with some areas still to declare, officials said.
“The National Media (IRINN) congratulate the victory of Hassan Rouhani in the Presidential election,” state media channel IRINN announced.
Rouhani, a moderate, was a key architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. He seeks to normalise ties with the West.
Rouhani’s rival Raisi complained about alleged voting irregularities and accused Rouhani’s supporters of hundreds of acts of propaganda at voting booths, banned under electoral law, the BBC reported.
Voting time was extended by five hours on Friday, until midnight, amid an unexpectedly high turnout of about 70 per cent.
Election officials said the extensions to voting hours were due to “requests” and the “enthusiastic participation of people”.
President Rouhani will now have a bigger mandate to push through his reforms, put an end to extremism, build bridges with the outside world and put the economy back on track, said the report.
Every incumbent President has been re-elected in Iran since 1985, when Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself won a second term, reported the BBC.