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Iran election heads to July 5 run of

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Jakarta, IO – Iran held a presidential election on June 28, exactly 50 days after President Ebrahim Raisi died in a plane crash in May. According to Iranian law, once something happens to the president, the country must hold elections in less than two months. 

“Today is 50 days since the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and we are holding election all over the world. In Indonesia, it is in this place. We do not have a very large Iranian community in Indonesia, but thank God most of them gave their votes at this polling station,” said Iran’s ambassador to Indonesia Mohammad Boroujerdi at the Iranian embassy in Menteng, Central Jakarta, Friday (28/6). 

Boroujerdi was the first to cast the vote. After that, the Iranian citizens in Indonesia approached the committee table to show their passports for verification. They then pressed their index fingers on the ink, and marked a piece of paper with their inked fingerprints. The committee handed over the letter to be filled in and then inserted the ballots into a transparent box. 

According to Ambassador Boroujerdi, many Iranian citizens could not vote because their domiciles were scattered and they are living far from Jakarta. “Unfortunately, most of them are also in remote islands and other cities, while we only have one polling station here in Jakarta,” he explained. 

He estimated that there are around 500 Iranian citizens in Jakarta who have the right to vote for Iran’s new president. In Iran itself, there are 61 million people aged 18 and older who are eligible to vote. It was a four-way presidential race between former Interior Minister and Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, lawmaker and former Health Minister Masoud Pezeshkian and the current Speaker of the Parliament of Iran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. 

Initially there were six candidates but two of them withdrew their candidacy. “We have four candidates, as is known they all have different views in economics, social, cultural, political, and also international views,” explained Ambassador Boroujerdi, adding that anyone between the age of 40-70 can run. 

He is convinced that whoever is elected will be the best leader for Iran. “I hope that the Iranian people here can wisely choose whoever is best for Iran. With their policies and how they will govern later, the elected one Insya Allah [God willing] will be a good leader and everything will return to normal in Iran,” he said. 

Ambassador Boroujerdi revealed that he has learned about the four candidates, watched the debates, and so on before deciding on who to vote for. 

“I can’t say who I voted for because I’m an ambassador, but what I have noticed from the four candidates is that they have their own differences and uniqueness. I only wish the best for Iran,” Ambassador Boroujerdi said, adding that the official vote counting process in Iran is relatively speedy. “God willing, we will get the new election results in less than a week.” 

He hoped that the election can conclude in a single round. However, as in Indonesia, if there no candidate secures a majority, the victor will have to be decided in the second round (runoff) on July 5. He said the location of the polling station in Jakarta and the time will remain the same in the second round of voting. 

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“In Iran, we usually hold elections on weekends so that people will have the time to go to the polling stations,” he said. 

The result announced on Saturday (29/6) showed that the election will head to the runoff, where conservative candidate Saeed Jalili will clash with reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian. 

Mohsen Eslami, spokesperson for the Iranian Election Commission, told the Associated Press (AP) that as of 3.30pm local time, Jalili received 9.4 million votes, while Pezeshkian garnered 10.4 million votes. The other two candidates were far behind — Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (3.3 million votes) and Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi (206,000 votes). (eka)

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