Iran’s Presidential Runoff Election: Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian Defeats Hardliner Saeed Jalili

Iran’s Presidential Runoff Election: Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian Defeats Hardliner Saeed Jalili

Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist, won Iran’s presidential runoff election against hardliner Saeed Jalili, receiving 16.3 million votes compared to Jalili’s 13.5 million. Pezeshkian’s victory comes amid promises of moderate domestic policies and improved relations with the West.

New Delhi, 6 July 2024

After a fierce political battle, Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist candidate defeated hardliner Saeed Jalili in Iran’s presidential runoff election.

Pezeshkian received 16.3 million votes, compared to Jalili’s 13.5 million, according to an early Saturday morning vote total released by Iranian officials. Jalili’s bid suffered a significant setback from the 69-year-old heart surgeon turned politician. Jalili, a former nuclear negotiator, had been believed to be close to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.

Iran had an intense presidential election after former President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash, leaving a political void in the Middle Eastern nation. Pezeshkian became well-known in the country because he promised to ease the harsh and obligatory headscarf regulation in the nation. In addition to supporting moderate policies at home, Pezeshkian promised to strengthen relations with the West.

Pezeshkian’s Campaign Promises:

Pezeshkian made a commitment to maintain Iran’s Shia theocracy in its current form if elected president during his campaign. Furthermore, he views the Supreme Leader of Iran as the “last arbiter” in all state affairs. Even yet, the Iranian government, which still has a majority of hardliners, will pose a serious threat to Pezeshkian’s modest goals.

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Voter Turnout and Participation:

About 10% more people participated in the presidential runoff than in the first round of voting, with 50% of voters casting ballots. The second round of voting saw 30.5 million votes cast, as per Iran’s interior ministry. It is important to point out that a significant portion of the Iranian population abstained from voting in protest, which contributed to the first round of voting’s historically low turnout. However, a small increase in the number of Iranian voters was spurred by the prospect of a hardliner regaining control.

International Implications:

The Middle Eastern Country has also attracted Western interest because of its rapidly progressing nuclear program. An impending US presidential election may potentially jeopardize any possibility of a relaxation between Washington and Tehran. It would be intriguing to observe the reactions of the conservative government led by Raisi and the Iranian Supreme Leader in light of Pezeshkian’s victory.

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World Politics