Ebrahim Raisi, the incumbent Chief Justice of Iran, has won the country’s presidential election by a landslide, according to preliminary results released on Saturday by the Interior Ministry.

Deputy Interior Minister Jamal Orf said 28.6 million Iranians participated in Friday’s election, and with around 90 per cent of the votes counted, Raisi garnered over 17.8 million votes, Press TV reported.

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.

Meanwhile, former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Nasser Hemmati garnered 2.4 million votes, and conservative MP Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi won almost one million votes, the Ministry figures revealed.

Orf added that vote counting was still ongoing an official announcement will be made later.

Addressing a meeting of the national committee fighting the coronavirus, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday praised the participation of the voters and welcomed the winner without naming Raisi, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Although I will delay the official congratulations in conformity with the law, the people’s choice is already clear and he will take over the government in 45 days,” Rouhani said.

In a message on his personal Instagram account, Hemmati expressed hope that the new leader “will make the Islamic Republic of Iran proud, and also improve the livelihood and prosperity, and provide welfare for the great nation of Iran”.

Rezaei and Hashemi have also extended their congratulations to Raisi.

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.

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.

–IANS

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