Rowhani wins Iran presidential election

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TEHRAN – Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani has won Iran’s presidential election, the interior minister announced on Saturday, ending eight years of conservative grip on the nation’s executive.

AFP journalists said crowds marched through Vali-Asr Square in central Tehran carrying pictures of the winner and chanting pro-Rowhani slogans.

In northwest Tehran, people gathered in Kaj Square and cheered as passing cars sounded their horns in approval.

Minister Mohammad Mostafa Najjar said Rowhani won outright with 18.6 million votes, or 50.68 percent.

He said 36.7 million people — 72.7 percent of the electorate — had voted on Friday out of an eligible 50.5 million.

The incumbent, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, had been constitutionally barred from standing again after serving two consecutive terms.

Najjar added that Tehran’s conservative mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, was runner-up with 6.07 million or 16.55 percent of the votes.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who advocated resistance in Tehran’s atomic talks with world powers, came third with 4.16 million (11.35 percent).

Former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai and ex-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati won 3.88 and 2.26 million votes respectively.

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