Iran hardliner to contest run-off
- 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"
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
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,
No Iranian presidential election has gone to a second
The second round will take place on Friday, a week
after the original poll.
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
As the results came in, he alleged they had been
"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
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
The BBC's Frances Harrison in Iran said the turn-out
was very respectable - and could be even higher in the
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
Voting was extended three times on Friday and finally
ended at 2300 (1830 GMT), four hours later than
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.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - 21%
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 19.5%
Mehdi Karroubi - 17.3%
Souce: Iranian interior ministry