No outright winner in Iran presidential election, voters to go for runoff

The Iranian interior ministry announced no straight winner emerged from the ballot boxes in the first round of presidential polls held on Friday, adding the country will hold an election runoff next Friday.

Mohsen Eslami, the spokesman for the Election Headquarters, in an update on the latest results earlier on Saturday, said with over 24.5 million of the votes counted so far, reformist candidate Massoud Pezeshkian is ahead with over 10.41 million of the votes.

Right-wing principlist Saeed Jalili is second with over 9.47 million of the votes.

Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has gained 3.38 million and Mostafa Pourmohammadi a little over 206,000 votes.

Based on the results, voters will once again have to go to the polls on Friday, July 5, to choose between Pezeshkian and Jalili to be at the executive helm in the country for at least the next four years.

The participation rate is put at about 40 percent in the country and 23 percent in the capital Tehran. Southern Khorasan Province had the highest turnout with about 61 percent and Kordestan Province, had the lowest with 23 percent.

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