Rouhani leading in Iran presidential election – Interior Ministry

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His nearest rival in the four-man race, hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi, secured 38 percent of the vote.

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.

However, Raisi later appeared at the Ministry of Interior in Tehran on Friday and complained of a shortage of ballot sheets at many polling stations, according to Fars.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is on course for a second term in office, preliminary results show.

Hassan Rouhani casts his vote in the Iranian presidential polls.

That drew an unusual rebuke directly from the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called the rhetoric at the debate “unworthy”.

Rouhani has been president of Iran since 2013.

The president oversees a vast state bureaucracy employing more than two million people, is charged with naming Cabinet members and other officials to key posts, and plays a significant role in shaping both domestic and foreign policy.

Analysts expressed caution about how much Mr Rouhani would be able to do to bring about broader reforms, despite his apparently decisive win, given the influence of security hardliners in Iran’s hybrid clerical-republican system.

Rouhani had won the last election on a platform of promoting a more open Iran on the worldwide stage as well as more freedoms domestically.

According to the Interior Ministry, over 40 million votes were cast on Friday and voting time was extended by five hours due to “requests” and the “enthusiastic participation of people”, reports the BBC.

On Twitter, she said Iranians “passionately” took part in “political life in their country”. Victory in a presidential election would consolidate his position, by adding to his resumé a job that Khamenei also held, along with a sense of legitimacy delivered by a public mandate. The average Iranian has yet to see the benefits of the deal, which saw Iran limit its contested nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

Six candidates had been approved after vetting by the Guardian Council to run in the election.

As his campaign for re-election got under way, many reformist voters said they were disillusioned, an apathy Rouhani’s allies saw as the biggest threat to his re-election.

In a series of stump speeches, Rouhani attacked hardliners over their opposition to greater personal freedoms, corruption and conservative-controlled institutions that don’t pay tax. They point out that his main opponent, “the keeper of the sacred tomb of Imam Reza in Mashhad”, representative of principalists (conservatives) Ibrahim Raisi has a higher chance to win in small towns and villages.

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