Iran: Hassan Rouhani wins landslide in huge victory for reformists


The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has won a sweeping endorsement for efforts to end Iran’s international isolation and bring greater freedoms at home, with an unexpected landslide victory in a fiercely contested re-election bid.
His powerful mandate protects the nuclear deal, which has been his landmark achievement to date, and his courting of foreign investment. It could also have much longer-term implications for Iran’s future, by giving reformists a greater influence over the looming battle to choose a new supreme leader.
Polling stations were forced to stay open until midnight in parts of the country because so many Iranians wanted to vote, defying fears of voter apathy. Rouhani claimed 23.5 million votes, while his rival Ebrahim Raisi trailed on 15.8 million, after nearly three-quarters of the electorate cast their votes, the interior ministry said.
In a victory speech to the nation on live TV, Rouhani promised to rule for all Iranians. But while celebrating his huge mandate in the election, which he labelled the “most competitive ever”, he also described his opponents as dangerously backward-looking…
Read more : The Guardian, 20.05.2017