Iran’s state television declared incumbent President Hassan Rouhani the winner of the country’s presidential election on Saturday, giving the 68-year-old cleric a second four-year term to see out his agenda calling for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider world.
State TV offered its congratulations in a brief statement Saturday, based on vote tallies. The latest election tallies released by the Interior Ministry showed Rouhani with a commanding lead of 59 percent, with 38.9 million votes counted.
Deputy Interior Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi told journalists in a televised news conference earlier in the day that more than 40 million Iranians voted in Friday’s election. That puts turnout above 70 percent.
In 2013, Rouhani won the presidential election with nearly 51 percent of the vote. Turnout for that vote was 73 percent.
As Rouhani appeared close to victory, some female drivers held out the V for victory sign and flashed their car lights on highways in Tehran’s affluent north.
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