Iran Presidential Election 2024: Polls Open in Tight Runoff

Iranians headed to the polls on Friday for a high-stakes presidential election runoff, with reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian and hardliner Saeed Jalili vying to succeed the late President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran (IMNA) - Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time and are scheduled to close at 6 p.m., with the possibility of extensions by the Interior Ministry. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast his ballot in Tehran shortly after voting began.

In the first round on June 28, Pezeshkian, a former health minister and legislator from Tabriz, led with 44% of the vote, followed by Jalili, a former nuclear negotiator, with 40.6%. However, neither candidate secured the required 50%+ majority, necessitating the runoff.

The election comes amid a backdrop of economic woes, tensions with the West, and a restive youth movement. Voter turnout in the first round hit a record low of just 40%, signaling widespread disillusionment with the political system.

With over 61 million eligible voters, including 18 million under 30, the election's outcome could have significant implications for Iran's domestic and foreign policy. Preliminary results are expected as early as Saturday morning.

News ID 769120


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