Saturday, June 18, 2005

Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad - Vote Totals

Description of Selected News: "Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad set for head-to-head run-off

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN -- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad have taken the lead in the presidential election, but neither received over 50 percent of the vote and will hence meet in a run-off election on June 24.

Based on official figures announced on Saturday by the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry, with 29,317,042 votes counted throughout the country thus far, Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad are in first and second place, and 1,221,940 ballots have been declared invalid. Following is the final vote count as announced by the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry on Saturday evening:

1. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani 6,159,435

2. Mahmud Ahmadinejad 5,710,354

3. Mahdi Karrubi 5,066,316

4. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf 4,075,189

5. Mostafa Moin 4,054,304

6. Ali Larijani 1,740,163

7. Mohsen Mehralizadeh 1,289,323

Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad will thus face off in a run-off election, based on the official tally.

Reformist candidate Mahdi Karrubi on Saturday appealed to the Supreme Leader to designate a special team to restore the rights of certain candidates.

Karrubi said that some mysterious interventions had taken place in the process of counting the ballots. It was originally reported that Karrubi was in second place after frontrunner Rafsanjani, but now he is in third place.

Meanwhile, Elaheh Koolaee, the spokeswoman for reformist candidate Mostafa Moin, said that Basij (volunteer forces) have meddled in ballot counting, trampling on the rights of the people.

She announced that Moin's election headquarters plans to release a statement to this effect.

A member of the Central Council of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Party told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday that the IIPP would probably not support Rafsanjani in the runoff.

Mohsen Safaii Farahani said that the final announcement on the issue would be made by IIPP Secretary General Mohammad Reza Khatami.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Tavakoli expressed his support for Ahmadinejad in a statement on Saturday, calling on the people to vote for the Tehran mayor in the second round of the presidential election. Tavakoli had earlier supported Qalibaf, who is currently in fourth place.

Tavakoli, who was a conservative candidate himself but dropped out of the race before the official registration of candidates, said that Iranians showed they want to determine their own destiny through their massive turnout in the poll.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) praised the Iranian people for their great and enthusiastic presence in the scene of the election.

The IRGC expressed hope that the next president would prioritize the lofty values of the Islamic Revolution in his plans for resolving the country’s problems.

Presidential candidate Ali Larijani also lauded the people for their epic participation in the poll.

“The June 17 presidential election demonstrated Iran’s powerful religious democracy, astonishing the world,” he said on Saturday in a letter addressed to the Iranian nation, members of his campaign headquarters, and his supporters."