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Iranians start voting as polls open for the presidential election

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 00:52

Queues form across Tehran as Iranians cast their ballots for the country's presidential election on Friday. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Iranians voted in fiercely-contested presidential polls on Friday (May 19), standing in long lines to choose between front-runners Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent who wants normal ties with the West, and Ebrahim Raisi, a populist challenger backed by powerful security hawks. Raisi, 56, and Rouhani, 68, traded charges of graft and brutality on television debates with an open vehemence unseen since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. State television showed lengthy queues forming outside polling stations in several cities and said 56 million Iranians out of the roughly 80-million-strong population were eligible to vote. Rouhani, who championed the deal to lift most sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its disputed nuclear program, is a staunch supporter of engagement with the West and liberal reforms to the economy. Raisi, a protege of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, focused his campaign on the economy, visiting rural areas and villages, promising housing, jobs and more welfare benefits for the poor. All ballots will be counted manually and the final result may not be announced for two-days. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent plus one vote of all ballots cast, a run-off between the two top candidates will be held on the first Friday after the result is declared.

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Iranians start voting as polls open for the presidential election

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 00:52