Ebrahim Raisi named next president of Iran

author_image Hiwa Shilani
Conservative cleric and judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the next president of Iran.
Conservative cleric and judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the next president of Iran.

Conservative cleric and judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi was named the next president of Iran on Saturday after his three rivals conceded the election.

Iranian state media named 60-year-old Raisi as the winner with more than 90 percent of the votes counted.

According to the preliminary results from the interior ministry, after counting 28.6 million ballots, Raisi lead with 17.8 million votes, while his main conservative rival Mohsen Razaei received 3.3 million.

Razaei admitted his loss, and said in a statement, "I congratulate the Iranian people, who elected Ibrahim Raisi," and expressed his hope for the cleric’s success.

Initital results also showed that Abdolnasser Hemmati, a reformist, received 2.4 million votes, and ultraconservative Amir Hossein Qazi-zada Hashemi received around 1 million.

Current President Hassan Rouhani earlier congratulated Raisi without mentioning him by name. “I congratulate the people on their choice,” he said in a televised statement. “My official congratulations will come later, but we know who got enough votes in this election and who is elected today by the people."

Raisi was widely expected to win the vote in an election that saw most would-be candidates barred from the ballot. The 60-year-old will take over from Rouhani, a moderate in Iranian politics, in August.

Polling stations closed for the first round of the Iranian presidential elections at dawn on Saturday, after nearly 19 hours of voting, according to state news agencies.

About 59 million Iranians are entitled to participate in the elections, of whom 3.5 million live abroad, according to the Interior Ministry.