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Sunday, June 14, 2009

No "Democratic deficit" for Velatul-Faqih democracy.

13/06/2009 | Hanan Awarekeh - AlmanarTV

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won 62.63 percent of the vote across Iran, the Iranian Interior Minister said on Saturday. In second place was ex-premier Mir Hossein Mousavi with 33.75 percent vote, minister Sadeq Mahsouli said.

Iran's supreme leader Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei praised Ahmadinejad's re-election, saying his landslide victory was a "real feast."

"The participation rate of 80 percent and the 24 million votes for the president-elect is a real feast which can guarantee the country's progress, national security and lasting joy," he said in a statement read on state television. "I congratulate... the people on this massive success and urge everyone to be grateful for this divine blessing," the television quoted him as saying.

Election chief Kamran Daneshjoo had earlier said on state television that Ahmadinejad received almost 21.8 million votes or 63.36 percent out of nearly 34.4 million valid votes cast in 346 out of 366 electoral districts across the country. He said Ahmadinejad's closes rival, the more moderate ex-premier Mir Hossein Mousavi, garnered 11.7 million votes or 34.07 percent.

In a distant third was the former head of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai with almost 588,000 votes or 1.7 percent while reformist ex-parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi received almost 290,000 votes or 0.87 percent.

Earlier, the Iranian Interior Ministry said that Ahmadinejad was set for a landslide victory with nearly 80 percent of votes counted in Iran's stormy presidential elections. "Doctor Ahmadinejad, by getting a majority of the votes, has become the definite winner of the 10th presidential election," state news agency IRNA declared as his jubilant supporters took to the streets in celebration.

The level of the incumbent's support, roughly twice as many votes as Mousavi, Ahmadinejad's main challenger, with most ballots counted, confounded analyst predictions of a tight race.

The "unprecedented" voter turnout at the polls Friday was also expected to boost Mousavi's chances of winning the presidency.

Mousavi warned on Saturday he would not bow to the "dangerous scenario" created in Iran after results showed he had lost to incumbent Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi said he "protested vigorously against the numerous and blatant irregularities" in Friday's vote after officials said Ahmadinajad had secured about 63 percent of the vote with counting in most districts over. The former premier said on a statement that it was his "national and religious duty to reveal the secrets of this dangerous process and to explain its destructive consequences for the future of the country."

However, as the official results showed Ahmadinejad would be back for a second term, his supporters poured on to the streets of Tehran, honking their horns and waving Iranian flags.

In his first term in office Ahmadinejad became known to the outside world for his fierce rhetoric against the United States and Israel. But Friday's election was also seen as a referendum on his handling of an oil exporting economy which enjoyed a surge in petrodollar revenues on his watch - a boom which critics say he squandered.

Ahmadinejad, 53, championed Iran's devout poor, especially those in rural areas, who felt neglected by past governments and helped sweep him to power in 2005.

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