Tehran, May 20: In a major boost to reforms in Iran, President Hasan Rouhani was elected with fifty-seven percent votes in an election in which more than 40 million voters cast their votes. In a brief statement issued by Iranian state television, it congratulated Hasan Rouhani for being elected for the second time in a row. The election of Rouhani comes a shocker to religious leader Ali Khamenei who supported his arch rival and much-hated hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. Raisi, a former judge was hated across the Shia Majority country for his sentences executing thousands of political prisoners in 1980s.

The elections were seen as a referendum on the reforms carried out by Rouhani Administration including the pact with the members of United National Security Council and Germany for stopping nuclear programme in lieu of lifting up of economic sanctions. However, the official numbers was not announced till the writing of this report. Ebrahim Raisi, in a statement, said he will be accepting the mandate of the people of Iran.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Iran’s interior Minister announcing the result said Hasan Rouhani defeated his closest rival Ebrahim Raisi with a brute majority. While Rouhani succeeded in garnering 23,549,616 votes, Raisi had to console himself with 15,786,449 votes. Apart from main contenders, other candidates Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, got 478,215 and 215,450 votes respectively. Local people expect the re-election of Rouhani will embolden steps in protecting human and civic liberties along with the more open economy. Many analysts consider the victory of Hasan Rouhani a setback for America too as it allegedly backed Raisi.