Masoud Pezeshkian elected Iran’s president

Tehran:  Masoud Pezeshkian, Iran’s former Health Minister, won the country’s 14th presidential election, Iran’s election headquarters Spokesperson Mohsen Eslami said on Saturday Eslami announced this while disclosing the results of the presidential runoff held on Friday between reformist Pezeshkian and principlist Saeed Jalili, Iran’s former chief negotiator in the nuclear talks with world powers. Masoud Pezeshkian, 69, is a cardiac surgeon and a lawmaker in the country’s Parliament. He was the Parliament’s first Deputy Speaker from 2016 to 2020 and Health Minister between 2001 and 2005 in the government of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. He ran for President in 2013 but withdrew, and failed to qualify for the presidential race in his second attempt at the presidency in 2021. Pezeshkian managed to secure 10,415,991 votes, more than 42 per cent of the total, in the first round of the presidential election. The total number of votes cast in the runoff was 30,530,157, adding that according to the number of the used ballots, which stood at 30,573,931, the turnout reached 49.8 per cent. Of all the votes, Pezeshkian secured 16,384,403, whereas Jalili garnered 13,538,179, said Eslami. The runoff began at 8 a.m. local time at nearly 59,000 polling stations nationwide and abroad. It was scheduled to end at 6 p.m. local time but was extended thrice, each lasting two hours. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei cast his ballot at a polling station in Tehran immediately after the voting began and made a brief speech, calling the election “an important political affair of the country”. Saeed Jalili, 58, is currently a member of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council. He was the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013 and was a chief negotiator in the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers. He was a candidate in Iran’s 11th presidential election in June 2013 but finished in third place. He also ran for president in 2021 but withdrew in favour of late President Ebrahim Raisi before the election. Jalili managed to garner 9,473,298 or more than 38 per cent of the votes in the first round of the presidential election. –IANS int/rs/khz

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