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IRAN : Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani re-elected


Iranians have re-elected President Hassan Rouhani.He led with 58.6 percent of the vote, compared with 39.8 percent for his main challenger, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi, according to near-complete results broadcast on Saturday.
Although the powers of the elected president are limited by those of unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who outranks him, the scale of Rouhani’s victory gives the pro-reform camp a strong mandate.
Rouhani’s opponent Raisi was a protege of Khamenei, tipped in Iranian media as a potential successor for the 77-year-old supreme leader who has been in power since 1989.
“I am very happy for Rouhani’s win. We won. We did not yield to pressure. We showed them that we still exist,” Mahnaz, a 37-year-old Mahnaz reformist voter told Reuters on Saturday.
“I want Rouhani to carry out his promises.”
Rouhani, known for decades as a mild-mannered member of the establishment, campaigned as an ardent reformist to stir up the passions of young, urban voters yearning for change.

During one rally he referred to hardliners as “those who cut out tongues and sewed mouths shut”.
In a debate last week he accused Raisi of seeking to “abuse religion for power.”
The rhetoric at the debate earned a rare public rebuke from Khamenei, who called it “unworthy”.
The big turnout appeared to have favoured Rouhani, whose backers’ main concern had been apathy among reformist-leaning voters disappointed with the slow pace of change.
Many voters were particularly determined to block the rise of Raisi, one of four judges who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death in the 1980s, regarded by reformers as a symbol of the security state at its most
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