Hard-liner Wins Iran Presidency in Election Marred By Low Turnout, Voter Boycott

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Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election, a vote that propelled the supreme leader’s protege into Tehran’s highest civilian position, but saw the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. The election of Ebrahim Raisi, already sanctioned by the U.S. in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, became more of a coronation after his strongest competition found themselves disqualified from running in the June 19 vote. That sparked calls for a boycott and many apparently did stay home — out of over 59 million eligible voters, only 28.9 million voted. Of those voting, some 3.7 million people either accidentally or intentionally voided their ballots, far beyond the amount seen in previous elections. Iranian state television immediately blamed challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. sanctions for the low participation. But the low turnout and voided ballots suggested a wider unhappiness with the tightly controlled election. (AP) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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