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Iran Presidential Election Heads to July 5 Runoff Between Pezeshkian and Jalili

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Iran’s presidential election will proceed to a runoff on July 5, following Friday’s vote where no candidate secured a majority. The election headquarters announced the necessity of a runoff on Saturday, as none of the four candidates achieved an outright win.

Mohsen Eslami, the spokesperson for the election headquarters, detailed the final vote counts at a news conference. Of the 24.5 million votes cast, former health minister and senior lawmaker Masoud Pezeshkian received 10.4 million votes, while former lead nuclear negotiator and security chief Saeed Jalili garnered 9.4 million.

The remaining candidates, parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and former interior minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, trailed significantly with 3.3 million and over 206,000 votes respectively.

As no candidate achieved the required 50 percent plus one vote, Pezeshkian and Jalili will compete in the runoff on July 5.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi expressed the government’s readiness for the upcoming election and commended the Iranian people and election authorities for conducting the polls smoothly.

“Once again, we have achieved another success together. The elections were held with complete safety and soundness, serious competition, and a valuable turnout,” Vahidi stated. He added his hope for “vigorous elections” on July 5. The candidates can campaign from Sunday until Wednesday, with campaigning ceasing 24 hours before the vote.

The snap election was necessitated by the death of President Ebrahim Raeisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19, alongside the country’s foreign minister and others.

In the final tally, Pezeshkian led with 10,415,991 votes (42.45%) out of 24,535,185 votes, while Jalili followed with 9,473,298 votes (38.61%). Qalibaf and Pourmohammadi received 3,383,340 (13.78%) and 206,397 votes (0.84%) respectively.

Polling on Friday was extended three times, each by two hours, beyond the initial 6:00 p.m. closing time, finally ending at midnight. The counting of votes then began at numerous polling stations across the country, including over 6,000 in Tehran.

More than 61 million Iranians were eligible to vote in Friday’s election, with many being first-time voters.

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