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Iran hardliner to contest run-off

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  • Greg Cannon
    I don t think this article mentions it, but the candidate who got fifth place, Mostafa Moin the reformist, had been expected to get second place and thus be in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 18, 2005
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      I don't think this article mentions it, but the
      candidate who got fifth place, Mostafa Moin the
      reformist, had been expected to get second place and
      thus be in the runoff next week. Before the election
      I'd read several quotes from various Iranian
      politicians, including some who were not friends of
      Moin, saying they expected Moin to get second place. I
      haven't seen any speculation on why the predictions
      were wrong. One of the other candidates who is also
      called a reformist, Mehdi Karroubi, came in third and
      this article quotes him saying that he would've come
      in second if there hadn't been "bizarre interference"
      involving money.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4105752.stm

      Saturday, 18 June, 2005, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK

      Iran hardliner to contest run-off

      Mr Ahmadinejad had trailed far behind for much of the
      race

      The hardline mayor of Tehran is to face a veteran
      former president in a run-off for Iran's presidency,
      after a surprise result in Friday's first round.

      The second round pits conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
      against pragmatic cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who
      led Iran for eight years until 1997.

      Mr Rafsanjani had been expected to do well, but few
      predicted Mr Ahmadinejad would be his rival,
      correspondents say.

      No Iranian presidential election has gone to a second
      round before.

      The second round will take place on Friday, a week
      after the original poll.

      Unprepared

      Mr Ahmadinejad's showing was so unexpected even his
      own campaign team had not prepared a podium where he
      could react to the announcement.

      He apparently had strong support among the devout poor
      who live in the capital's suburbs.

      "I am the people's candidate," he declared after
      workers quickly cobbled together a podium so he could
      hold a news conference.

      Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist cleric and former
      parliamentary speaker whom few had tipped as a major
      contender in the race, came in third, close behind Mr
      Ahmadinejad.

      As the results came in, he alleged they had been
      tampered with.

      "There has been bizarre interference. Money has
      changed hands," he told reporters.

      He called for an investigation.

      The reformists' standard-bearer Mostafa Moin came in
      fifth place.

      High participation

      According to the interior ministry, some 62% of the
      electorate took part in the polls, despite boycott
      calls from some reformist groups.

      Iranian authorities had hoped for a high turn-out to
      fend off foreign criticism that the elections were
      unfair.

      The BBC's Frances Harrison in Iran said the turn-out
      was very respectable - and could be even higher in the
      second round.

      Voters would want to choose between two men with very
      different policies, she said.

      Mr Rafsanjani, 70, has close ties to the clerical
      elite, but he has adopted a more liberal message for
      his campaign, promising better relations with Western
      nations, including the US.

      Mr Ahmadinejad, 49, is a former Revolutionary Guard
      who became mayor of Tehran in 2003 after reformists
      had run the capital in the 1990s.

      He is a much-less known figure nationally and
      internationally, and has close ties to the regime, our
      correspondent says.

      Voting was extended three times on Friday and finally
      ended at 2300 (1830 GMT), four hours later than
      planned.

      Dissidents and students had called for a boycott in
      protest at the barring of women and many reformists
      from the race.

      Iranians were choosing their president from a field of
      seven, after some 1,000 potential candidates were
      disqualified from the race by the clergy.

      Some 47 million people, many of them under 30, were
      eligible to vote.

      Ultimate power in Iran rests with clerical bodies and
      the unelected supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

      FIRST-ROUND RESULTS

      Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - 21%
      Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 19.5%
      Mehdi Karroubi - 17.3%
      Souce: Iranian interior ministry
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