Elections in Iran: advantage for reformer Pezeshkian, but there will be a second round

The turnout in the elections held yesterday in Iran to choose the new president exceeded 40%, following the death in a helicopter crash last May of Ebrahim Rahisi, who had held the post since 2021. The count sees the reformist Massoud Pezeshkian with 42.6% of the votes. preferences (5.354 million votes) and the fundamentalist Saeed Jalili, with 38.8% (with 4.875 million votes). This was announced this morning by the spokesman for the State Electoral Command, Mohsen Eslami, quoted by the official news agency. IrnaThe other two candidates in the race, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, received 1.620 million votes and 95 thousand votes respectively. According to the country's media, it seems unlikely that either candidate will be able to reach 50% of the vote yet, which underlines the need for a second round on July 5 between Pezeshkian and Jalili.

The “farce” and the protests

The elections come after months of almost continuous protests by the population to obtain greater respect for their rights, harshly repressed by the police. The “Women, Life, Freedom” movement was born in 2022 from the death of the young Mahsa Amini, which occurred while she was in police custody for not having worn the veil in the manner deemed correct. After her, many others have suffered a similar fate while the country remains in a serious economic crisis. Whatever the outcome, many activists, as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi explains, Open, they consider the vote to be “a farce” after which there will be no further change. Indeed, according to the Iranian constitution, decision-making power continues to be the exclusive prerogative of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The role of the president is solely to interpret his will as best as possible.

The attack on the elections

Even during the vote itself, there was no shortage of demonstrations of dissent. Two police officers were killed during an armed attack by “miscreants” on a car transporting ballot boxes in Jakigur, in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, Iranian police said. According to the press release, the attackers – probably separatists from Balochistan – wanted to seize the ballot boxes containing the ballot papers for the presidential election. No one else was injured in the attack. Final results will determine whether a runoff will indeed be necessary and are expected later this evening.

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