Iran Ebrahim Raisi

Voting Begins In Iran To Elect Raisi’s Successor In Presidential Runoff Today

Iran Ebrahim Raisi

Voting is underway in Iran, as the country gears up to elect the successor of Ebrahim Raisi in the Presidential runoff taking place on Friday, according to Al Jazeera.

This runoff comes as Iran registered a low voter turnout in the first round, with 39.92 per cent confirmed by the Interior Ministry. It was the lowest in any major election since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has also urged the people of Iran to vote, pointing out that it will become the “deciding round” to elect Iran’s president by tomorrow, reported Al Jazeera.

The final battle is now between a reformist, Masoud Pezeshkian, and a hardline Conservative, Saeed Jalili.

Hardliners and conservatives are typically more critical of Western relations and of opening up Iran to outside influence.

Therefore, Pezeshkian is anticipated to reach out to the West more to try and lift sanctions against Iran, whereas Jalili as president, would be expected to prioritize internal capabilities, and regional relations, and bolster partnerships with Russia and China even further.

Pezeshkian, 69, was a deputy speaker from 2016 to 2020 and has been a member of parliament since 2008 representing Tabriz. In the early 2000s, the heart surgeon served as former President Mohammad Khatami’s health minister.

He is the sole contender this year who does not come from a hardline or conservative background. In 2021 he was disqualified from running by the Guardian Council, reported Al Jazeera.

Whereas, Jalili, 58, ran for president unsuccessfully against Hassan Rouhani in 2013, and in 2021 withdrew in favour of Raisi.

As the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s direct representative on the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), he oversaw the Iranian nuclear issue from 2007 to 2013. He has served on unelected committees such as the Expediency Council and has continued to lead the SNSC, which he is dubious of calling a “shadow government.”

Acting foreign minister at the moment, Ali Bagheri Kani is his longstanding supporter. Kani has been Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator since 2021.

Pezeshkian and Jalili both pledged to improve living conditions in Iran, a country now experiencing an economic crisis.

The election was scheduled for June next year, which would have been four years after Raisi’s election. However, a 50-day constitutional window to hold a new referendum was triggered by the president’s death in a helicopter crash.

The snap election on June 28 occurred inside the 50-day legally mandated deadline for selecting a new president after Ebrahim Raisi and seven others, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were killed in a helicopter accident on May 19. (ANI)

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