Hardliner takes narrow lead in Iranian election; runoff likely

This suggests a likely second-round election next Friday.The results are surprising as reformist candidate Massoud Pezeshkian, who previously led, now trails with just over 40%.

Pezeshkian, a former health minister, advocates for changes, calling the morality police’s actions “immoral.”A run-off will occur if no candidate secures over 50% of votes. This election seeks to replace the late president Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19.

Despite 61.5 million eligible voters, there was a low turnout in the election, reflecting recent election trends.

Iran recently faced significant protests in 2022 after the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody, with human rights groups reporting hundreds killed and thousands detained.

Four candidates were in the race to succeed Ebrahim Raisi who died in a helicopter crash in May

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