Friday, June 14, 2013

Moderate Candidate Has Early Lead in Iran's Presidential Election

The Lede has a big live blog, "Latest Updates on Election Day in Iran."

And see, "Moderate in Iranian Election Leads in Initial Returns":
TEHRAN — Iranian voters turned out in huge numbers on Friday, a late surge of interest in the presidential vote that seemed to swing the tide in the favor of the most moderate candidate in the field. But it was uncertain whether any single contestant would exceed the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff next week.

With long lines at the polls, voting hours were extended by five hours in parts of Tehran and four hours in the rest of the country. Turnout reached 75 percent, by official count, as disaffected members of the Green Movement, which was crushed in the uprising that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election, dropped a threatened boycott and appeared to coalesce behind a cleric, Hassan Rowhani, and the mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf.

Iran’s interior minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, said Saturday morning on state television that preliminary results showed Mr. Rowhani with a strong lead, followed by Mr. Ghalibaf. Mr. Najjar did not say when the final result would be available. Iran has more than 50 million eligible voters and as of early Saturday morning nearly three million votes had been counted.
And check #IranElection on Twitter for additional updates.