Dubbed ‘ultraconservative’, Ebrahim Raisi, the incumbent Chief Justice of Iran, won the country's presidential election by a landslide, according to preliminary results released on Saturday, 19 June, by the country’s Interior Ministry.
Deputy Interior Minister Jamal Orf said 28.6 million Iranians participated in Friday's election, and with around 90 percent of the votes counted so far, Raisi has garnered over 17.8 million ballots, reported IANS, quoting local television sources.
Orf added that vote counting was still ongoing an official announcement will be made later.
In the second place was Mohsen Rezaei, a senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and current secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, with 3.3 million ballots.
“I congratulate the people on their choice,” said outgoing moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who has served the maximum of two consecutive four-year terms. He will leave office in August.
Raisi’s Journey to Presidency
The 60-year-old Raisi, who has been the Chief Justice since 2019, has formerly held several other posts in the country judicial branch following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. This takeover comes at a time when Iran seeks to salvage nuclear treaties and get rid of US-imposed sanctions.
Although associated with the Principlist camp, Raisi said he ran in the election this year as an independent.
He was campaigning with the slogan “Popular Administration, Strong Iran” aimed at uprooting corruption in the executive branch, fighting poverty, creating jobs and containing inflation.
According to reports, Raisi is known to be a close aide of the 81-year-old supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ultimate political power in Iran.
He is known to hold “deeply conservative” views on many social issues including the role of women in public life, has been named in Iranian media as a possible successor to Khamenei, reported news agency AFP.
(With inputs from IANS, AFP)