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Vote counting starts after heavy turnout in Iran election

Behnam Ben Taleblu
19th May 2017 - Quoted by Reuters

Vote counting began in Iran on Saturday after a large turnout in an unexpectedly tight presidential election pitting President Hassan Rouhani, who wants to normalise ties with the West, against a hardline judge who says he has already gone too far.

Friday's voting was extended by at least five hours to 11 p.m. (1830 GMT) because many people were still waiting in line, state television reported. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said that by law voting could not continue past midnight.

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Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington, said Rouhani's warning to the Guards about electoral interference "could be aimed at forcing the establishment to back his second term."

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Tags

elections, iran