Initial vote count in the Iranian presidential elections puts incumbent President Hassan Rouhani in the lead.

Counting is continuing after polls closed on Friday.

Forty million Iranians were said to have voted, putting the turnout at over 70 per cent according to the Interior Ministry, Ali Asghar Ahmadi.

Mr Rouhani is seeking a second term as president and is current leading his his nearest competitor, Ebrahim Raisi.

Mr Ahmadi said the initial vote count saw moderate cleric Mr Rouhani leading with 14.6 million votes.

Hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi has 10.1 million votes. The two other candidates left in the race, Mostafa Mirsalim, a former culture minister, and Mostafa Hashemitaba, a pro-reform figure who previously ran for president in 2001, have 297,000 and 139,000 votes respectively.

This was Iran’s first presidential election since the 2015 nuclear accord, drawing a surprisingly large numbers of voters to polling stations.

Some voters waiting for several hours to cast their votes forcing election officials to extend voting hours at least three times.

Mr Ahmadi said the Interior Ministry hopes to have final results later Saturday.



Source

World News

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