Masoud Pezeshkian, a veteran reformist lawmaker, was elected the new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran after he defeated conservative rival Saeed Jalili in a presidential runoff election.

Pezeshkian garnered 16,384,403 votes out of 30,530,157 counted while Jalili trailed with 13,538,179 in the runoff vote that saw a relatively higher voter turnout.

Polls opened at 8 a.m. local time Friday across the country and voting was extended thrice before culminating at midnight, with more than 30 million people casting ballots.

The turnout in the runoff election was recorded at more than 50%, significantly higher than the first-round turnout of 40% and the 2021 presidential election turnout of 48.8%.

Around 61 million Iranians were eligible to vote in the election, according to official data, apart from around 10 million Iranians living overseas.

The vote count started immediately after polls closed at midnight and the first update was announced by the Interior Ministry at 2:30 a.m.

In the initial update, Pezeshkian was slightly ahead with 1.26 million votes against 1.24 million for Jalili.

As the count progressed, however, the gap widened between the two candidates.

The final update was announced by the Interior Ministry at around 6:45 a.m. with Pezeshkian securing more than 16.3 million votes against Jalili’s 13.5 million, significantly ahead of the conservative contender.

In the June 28 election, Pezeshkian had 10.4 million votes out of 24.5 million votes counted. Jalili ended in second with 9.4 million.

After the election went to a runoff, both candidates made passionate appeals urging voters to participate in the runoff.

Even before the final results were announced, supporters of the reformist lawmaker from the northwestern city of Tabriz took to the streets in Tehran and other cities to celebrate his win.

Pezeshkian will replace Ebrahim Raisi who died in a helicopter crash May 19 along with seven others, paving the way for the snap presidential election as required by the Constitution.

A low-profile political figure, Pezeshkian previously served as health minister in the government of Mohammad Khatami (2001-2005) in addition to representing Tabriz in parliament since 2008.

A cardiologist by practice, Pezeshkian also headed the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, one of the leading medical institutions in northern Iran.

His two previous unsuccessful bids for the presidency came in 2013 and 2021, respectively.

Kaynak bağlantısı