The head of the Iranian judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, overwhelmingly won the presidential elections with a landslide victory, which remain in the annals for the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic. According to the first results, Raisi has obtained 17.8 million votes, beating the only moderate candidate by many lengths. However, Raisi dominated the elections only after a panel under the supervision of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei removed his strongest competitor from the competition. His candidacy, and the feeling that the election served more as a coronation for the winner, sparked widespread disinterest among voters.
Former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei won 3.3 million votes, while moderate Abdolnasser Hemmati just 2.4 million, said Jamal Orf, head of the Iranian Interior Ministry’s election headquarters. The fourth candidate in the running, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, finally received around 1 million votes.
Hemmati congratulated Raisi via Instagram already at the first light of this morning. “I hope that your administration will provide grounds for pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran, improve the economy and life with comfort and well-being for the great Iranian nation,” he wrote. On Twitter, however, Rezaei praised Khamenei and the Iranian people for taking part in the vote: “God willing, the decisive election of my esteemed brother, Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, promises the establishment of a government. strong and popular to solve the country’s problems. “
Raisi, however, risks being the first Iranian president sanctioned by the US government even before taking office. The US measure is due to its involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988. The problem of turnout remains in the background, which already appeared much lower on Friday evening than in the last round of 2017. it concluded at 2am on Saturday, after the government extended the vote to favor what it called a “crowding” in several polling stations nationwide.
State television has tried to downplay, speaking of the Arab sheikhdoms of the Gulf surrounding the country, ruled by hereditary leaders, as well as reporting the low participation of Western democracies. In addition, scenes of crowded seats were broadcast in several provinces during the night, trying to compose the portrait of a last-minute poll. Yet, since the 1979 revolution overthrew the Shah, Iranian theocracy has cited the turnout as a sign of its legitimacy, starting with the first referendum (which won 98.2% of the votes) to ask for six citizens. whether or not they wanted an Islamic Republic.