Iran to hold runoff election between reformist Masoud Pezeshkian and hard-liner Saeed Jalili

Iran will hold a runoff presidential election to replace the late hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, an official said Saturday, after an initial vote saw the top candidates fail to secure an outright win.

The election this coming Friday will pit reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian against the hard-line former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

Mohsen Eslami, an election spokesman, announced the result in a news conference carried by Iranian state television. He said of 24.5 million votes cast, Pezeshkian got 10.4 million while Jalili received 9.4 million. Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf got 3.3 million. Shiite cleric Mostafa Pourmohammadi had more than 206,000 votes.

"None of the candidates could garner the absolute majority of the votes, therefore, the first and second contenders who got the most votes will be referred" for the second round, scheduled for next Friday, Eslami told a press conference.

Read moreWho are the men running to become Iran's next president?

Out of around 61 million eligible voters, some 24,500,000 voters headed to the polls, he added, with a turnout of around 40 percent – the lowest yet in the history of the Islamic republic.

The Guardian Council, which vets electoral candidates in the Islamic republic, had originally approved six contenders.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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