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Masoud Pezeshkian wins Iran’s 14th presidential elections

Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist and former Health Minister of Iran, emerged victorious in Iran’s 14th presidential election, according to local media reports. The election results, announced on Saturday, saw Pezeshkian defeating his rival Saeed Jalili, a principlist and former chief negotiator in nuclear talks. Pezeshkian secured a total of 16,384,402 votes out of the 30,573,931 cast in the runoff, as reported by Iran International News.

The voter turnout for the runoff election was 49.8 per cent, which was relatively lower compared to the first phase of the elections. This low turnout reflected a significant level of voter boycott, with over 50 per cent of eligible voters abstaining from participating in the electoral process. This drop in voter engagement has raised concerns about the legitimacy and public support for the newly elected president.

The runoff election began on Friday morning, featuring the two leading candidates from the first phase: Masoud Pezeshkian and Saeed Jalili. Pezeshkian, known for his reformist stance, faced off against Jalili, who is recognized for his principlist views and his role in the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and world powers. The intense competition highlighted the deep political divisions within the country.

The first phase of the election took place on June 28, with the results announced the following day by Mohsen Eslami, the Spokesman of Iran’s Election Headquarters. In that phase, Pezeshkian received 42.6 per cent of the votes, while Jalili garnered 38.8 per cent. Despite Pezeshkian’s lead, neither candidate was able to secure the required 50 per cent majority to win outright, necessitating the runoff election.

The 14th presidential election in Iran was initially scheduled for 2025. However, the election date was brought forward following the sudden and tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 19. This unexpected event prompted the authorities to expedite the electoral process to ensure a smooth transition of power.

Pezeshkian’s victory marks a significant moment in Iranian politics, as he takes on the presidency with a reformist agenda. His tenure is expected to focus on addressing the challenges faced by the nation, including economic difficulties and international relations. The outcome of this election will likely influence Iran’s political landscape and its approach to both domestic and foreign policy.

The low voter turnout and the circumstances leading to this election highlight the complexities and uncertainties within Iran’s political environment. Pezeshkian’s ability to navigate these challenges and unite the country will be crucial in determining the success of his presidency.

As Masoud Pezeshkian prepares to assume office, the international community will be closely watching his administration’s policies and actions. His leadership will play a pivotal role in shaping Iran’s future, both internally and in its relations with the rest of the world.

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