Iranian reformist Masud Pezeshkian wins presidential election – DW – 06/07/2024

Iranian reformist Masud Pezeshkian wins presidential election – DW – 06/07/2024
Iranian reformist Masud Pezeshkian wins presidential election – DW – 06/07/2024

Reformist Masud Pezeshkian has won the second round of the presidential elections in Iran and will become the country’s next president, the Iranian Election Commission announced on Saturday (06.07.2024).

Pezeshkian, a 69-year-old heart surgeon, won 53.6% of the vote against ultra-conservative Saeed Jalili with 44.3%, in an election that saw a 49.9% turnout with 30,573,931 votes.

“Mr. Masud Pezeshkian has thus been declared the winner of the 14th presidential election in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Iranian Election Commission spokesman Mohsen Eslami in a televised press conference.

Successor of the ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisí

The former health minister and parliamentarian will become the ninth president in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran and will succeed the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter accident in May.

Iran’s president-elect was a little-known politician at the start of his campaign, but has steadily gained popularity with a message of moderation, rapprochement with the West and criticism of the veil.

He has managed to unite the vote of those dissatisfied with Raisí’s policies, under whose government social and political repression increased, while his campaign has fueled fear of Jalili, an ultra-conservative with a reputation for being “intransigent.”

First reformist president

Pezeshkian will become the first reformist president in years, a political group that seeks a certain opening in the country, in a country that is facing strong regional tensions due to the war in Gaza, but also within the country due to policies such as the imposition of the veil and the lack of freedoms.

The Iranian president has decision-making power in domestic matters and, to a lesser extent, in foreign and security policy in Iran, where Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei serves as head of state with vast powers.

The 61 million Iranians who were called to vote were also at stake in the elections, with 49.8% of the electorate voting, an improvement from 39.9% in the first round.

This 39.9% was a record abstention rate in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has always attached great importance to participation as proof of popular support and its legitimacy.

This low turnout revealed the discontent of a significant portion of the population with the political system established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.

gs (efe, afp, dpa)

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