Leader Thanks Iranian Nation for ‘Epic’ Turnout in Elections
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei hailed the Iranian people’s massive presence in the elections held on Friday as “epic” and said the high turnout proved the strength of foundations of “the Islamic democracy” in the country.
“The epic celebration of yesterday’s elections once again highlighted the shining gem of (the country’s) national will and determination before the eyes of the world,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message addressed to the Iranian nation on Saturday.
“Your massive and enthusiastic participation and enthusiastic rush to polling stations and formation of long queues of people from all social strata to reach the ballot boxes across the country were a clear sign of the strength of foundations of the Islamic democracy (in Iran)…,” the Leader stressed.
Ayatollah Khamenei further thanked each and every individual participating in the elections as well as those who played a role in encouraging the people to meet their duty to vote, particularly the sources of emulation, clerics and academic, political, cultural and artistic figures
Elsewhere in the message, the Leader urged the president and his administration to actively work and endeavor to settle the country’s problems and try not to sway from “this direct path”.
The message came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won a second term in Friday’s presidential election by securing an absolute majority of the votes.
With the votes from 99.7% of ballot boxes in the nationwide presidential election counted, Rouhani emerged victorious and secured a second term by winning 57 percent of the votes, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced at a press conference on Saturday.
Rouhani, the winner, garnered 23,549,616 votes from a total of 41,220,131 ballots that were cast in the presidential election on Friday, he added.
The runner-up, Ebrahim Raisi, secured 38.5% of the votes with 15,786,449 ballots, Rahmani Fazli noted, saying the two other candidates, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemitaba, have won 478,215 and 219,450 votes, respectively.
More than 56,400,000 Iranian people were eligible to vote. Participation of above 41 million voters translates into a turnout of 73 percent.
Iranian expatriates in 103 countries cast their ballots simultaneous with the big turnout at home.
Polling stations across Iran closed at midnight Friday after sixteen hours. The Interior Ministry had extended the voting three times in one of the country’s most tightly contested elections.
During the previous presidential election in June 2013, Rouhani had emerged victorious by winning 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes. He had won more than three times as many votes as his closest challenger.
No sitting president in Iran has failed to win a second term since 1981.
Iranians also cast their ballots in the 5th City and Village Councils elections and mid-term parliamentary polls on Friday.