Early results give Iran moderate clear lead

Source: ET

TEHRAN: Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani, bolstered by a late surge in support from suppressed Iranian reformists, took an early lead in the presidential election to find a successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, initial results showed Saturday.

The first round results gave Rowhani 52 percent of the vote, more than three times as many as his nearest rival, with 18 percent of ballots counted, said the interior ministry.

A former top nuclear negotiator who has vowed to mend Iran’s ties with the international community, Rowhani garnered nearly 2,720,000 votes from about 5,211,000 ballots counted by 9:00 am (0430 GMT), the ministry said.

Conservative Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was trailing him in second place with 17 percent.

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Categories: Asia, Iran

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