The election of
That sparked calls for a boycott and many apparently did stay home — out of over 59 million eligible voters, only 28.9 million voted. Of those voting, some 3.7 million people either accidentally or intentionally voided their ballots, far beyond the amount seen in previous elections and suggesting some wanted none of the four candidates.
Iranian state television immediately blamed challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and
In official results, Raisi won 17.9 million votes overall, nearly 62% of the total 28.9 million cast. Had the voided ballots gone to a candidate, that person would have come in second. Following Raisi was former hard-line
Abroad, Syrian President
Separate congratulations came from
Also congratulating Raisi was
Rouhani, who in 2017 dismissed Raisi as an opponent in his reelection as someone only knowing about “executions and imprisoning” people, met the cleric Saturday and congratulated him.
"I hope I can respond well to the people’s confidence, vote and kindness during my term,” Raisi said.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the shah, Iran’s theocracy has cited voter turnout as a sign of its legitimacy, beginning with its first referendum that won 98.2% support that simply asked whether or not people wanted an
A constitutional panel under Khamenei disqualified reformists and those backing Rouhani, whose administration reached the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The accord disintegrated three years later with then-President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of America from the agreement.
Raisi's election puts hard-liners firmly in control across the government as negotiations in
Raisi also has become the first serving Iranian president sanctioned by the
“Iran’s restrictions on free expression and association fundamentally compromise the electoral environment,” the
“Raisi’s ambivalence about foreign interaction will only worsen the chances that
Iranian presidents have almost all served two four-year terms. That means Raisi could be at the helm for what could be one of the most crucial moments for the country in decades — the death of the 82-year-old Khamenei. Speculation already has begun that Raisi might be a contender for the position, along with Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba.