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Counting begins in Iran Presidential election

ANI  |  Tehran [Iran] 

The counting of vote began in on Saturday after a huge voter turnout in an unexpectedly tight presidential race between President Hassan Rouhani and hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that voting for presidential and local elections in was extended for the third time stressing that polling will definitely end at 12 pm local time.

The polls opened at 8:00 local time on Friday. More than 40 million people voted in this and such a huge voter turnout. The will go to a runoff if no candidate wins more than 50% of votes cast.

Iran's presidential elections will have a huge impact on country's relations with the West and on the nuclear deal which was achieved after years of tough negotiations.

Electoral decisions in are taken by its most powerful political body, the Guardian Council. It is the upper house of the Iranian and has twelve members all of whom are men.

The Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei helps appoint the Guardian Council, panel of conservatives that decides who will run for president. Khamenei has the final say on all matter of foreign and domestic policy .

The is seen as a verdict on Rouhani's policy of opening up to the and his efforts to revive the economy.

President Rouhani has sought to frame the as a choice between greater civil liberties and extremism.

Rouhani, meanwhile, is essentially running for re-as an outsider, and is backed by Iran's reformist camp.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 20 2017. 10:02 IST