Iran’s reformist President, who stands for civil liberties, re-elected for second term
Hassan Rouhani has won the presidential race in Iran and has been re-elected as the country’s leader for a second term. International experts say that this election has actually turned into a vote of confidence for reforms and normalization of ties with the West.
Rouhani was elected President of Iran in 2013, with his key message being ‘open Iran to the world’.
Hassan Rouhani. Photo EPA
With all the votes in the 19 May polls being counted, Hassan Rouhani acquired 23.5 million votes, which is approximately 57% of total votes. His principal rival, Ebrahim Raisi got 15.8 million votes – the Iranian Interior Ministry reported on Saturday, 20 May.
This election garnered great interest among the public- a big turnout at the polling stations led to the vote being extended by several hours to deal with long queues.
As Rouhani stated during the campaign period, the people of Iran would have to choose between greater civil liberties and extremism. He criticized the continuous arrests of reformist leaders and activists.
Ebrahim Raisi, the leading rival to Hassan Rouhani in the presidential race, accused Rouhani of mismanaging the economy, positioning himself as a defender of the poor and calling for a tougher line with the West.