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Iran’s presidential election enters run-off 

Tehran, June 29: Iran’s 14th presidential election on Saturday entered a runoff vote, with former Health Minister Masoud Pezeshkian securing 10 million votes, while former chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili got over 9 million, Iran’s Election Headquarters Spokesperson Mohsen Eslami said.

According to Eslami, Pezeshkian got 42 per cent of the total vote count, while Jalili got 38 per cent, but no one secured the minimum threshold of 50 per cent of votes, Xinhua news agency reported. The spokesperson said that the voting turnout stood at 40 per cent of over 61 million Iranians who are eligible to vote, adding that the runoff election will be held next Friday, July 5, as the majority was not secured by any of the candidates. Additionally, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf got 3,383,340, or 13.8 per cent, and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a former interior minister and justice minister, got 206,397, or 0.8 per cent, Eslami said. Voting for Iran’s 14th presidential election took place on Friday after President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash last month.

The voting was held at close to 59,000 polling stations in more than 95 states, and over 61 million people are eligible to vote in the election, according to authorities. Iran’s 14th presidential election, initially set for 2025, was rescheduled following Raisi’s unexpected death.

Initially, six candidates — Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, the current Vice President; Alireza Zakani, the Mayor of Tehran; Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the Parliamentary Speaker; Saeed Jalili, the former top negotiator for nuclear talks; Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a former Interior Minister and Justice Minister; and Masoud Pezeshkian, a former Health Minister — were qualified to enter the race. Later, Hashemi and Zakani, two principlist candidates, withdrew from the race in favour of Qalibaf and Jalili, who were also in the principlists’ camp.

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