Iran election: Hassan Rouhani takes strong lead

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appears to have a strong lead as results poured in from a crucial election that could significantly influence the country’s future.

Rouhani had 14.6 million out of 25.9 million votes counted so far, Ali Asghar Ahmad, the head of the election committee, announced on Saturday on state television. His closest rival, Ebrahim Raisi, had 10.1 million votes.

Two other candidates were also on the ballot – conservative Mostafa Mirsalim and reformist Mostafa Hashemitaba – though they are not expected to win more than a few percent of the vote.

A huge turnout on Friday, estimated at more than 40 million out of 56 million registered voters, led to the vote being extended by several hours to deal with long queues.

Final results are expected later on Saturday.

More to follow.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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