Rouhani wins second term as Iran president

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Tehran: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has won re-election with a resounding 57 percent of the vote, the interior minister announced on Saturday.

With 99.7 percent of ballots counted, Rouhani had 23.5 million votes compared to 15.8 million for challenger Ebrahim Raisi, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on state television, adding that the results were final.

The re-election is likely to safeguard the nuclear agreement Rouhani’s government reached with global powers in 2015, under which most international sanctions have been lifted in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.

Rouhani, known for decades as a mild-mannered member of the establishment, campaigned as an ardent reformist to stir up the passions of young, urban voters yearning for reforms. At times he crossed traditional rhetorical boundaries, openly attacking the human rights record of the security forces and the judiciary.

The big turnout appeared to have favoured Rouhani, whose backers’ main concern had been apathy among reformist-leaning voters disappointed with the slow pace of change.

The election was important “for Iran’s future role in the region and the world”, Rouhani said on Friday after voting.

Raisi, 56, had accused Rouhani of mismanaging the economy, travelling to poor areas and holding rallies where he promised more welfare benefits and jobs.

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