By The Associated Press on May 19, 2017.
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran says incumbent President Hassan Rouhani is ahead of his nearest competitor in an initial count of votes in the election.
Interior Ministry deputy minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi told journalists in a televised news conference Saturday morning that over 40 million Iranians voted in Friday’s election. That puts turnout above 70 per cent.
Ahmadi says the initial vote count has the moderate cleric Rouhani with 14.6 million votes. Hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi has 10.1 million votes.
Ahmadi says the Interior Ministry hopes to have final results later Saturday.
The Islamic Republic’s first presidential election since the 2015 nuclear accord drew surprisingly large numbers of voters to polling stations, with some reporting waiting in line for hours to cast their votes. Election officials extended voting hours at least three times.
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