Iranians vote in election all but guaranteed to deliver an ultra-conservative president
On Friday, polls opened in Iran for an election that is all but guaranteed to elect a hardline president. All the other serious contenders were barred from the election. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast the first ballot and encouraged Iranians to head to the polls, as a lack of choices was feared to lead to a low voting turnout.
Ebrahim Raisi is the practically uncontested frontrunner who has headed the country’s judiciary for the last two years after losing the 2017 election. The Guardian Council barred his main rivals from the race in a highly criticized move. Raisi’s election would come at a pivotal moment for Iran as the economic crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for constitutional reform must be addressed.