June 12, 2009

GOTV:

Crowded Polls After Hard-Fought Campaign in Iran (ROBERT F. WORTH, 6/13/09, NY Times)

Polls were originally due to close at 6 p.m. (9:30 a.m. in New York), but voting was extended until midnight (3:30 p.m. in New York) due to the very high turnout, The Associated Press reported. Initial results are not expected until hours after the polls close.

The strong showing appeared to be driven in part by a broad movement against Mr. Ahmadinejad that has spurred vast opposition rallies in Iran’s major cities over the past few weeks. Many reform-oriented voters stayed away from the polls in 2005, and now say they are determined not to repeat the mistake. Most say they support Mir Hussein Moussavi, a moderate and former prime minister who is the leading opposition candidate.

There are four candidates in the race, and if none wins more than 50 percent of the vote on Friday, the top two finishers will compete in a runoff a week later. Most analysts have assumed that the election will go to a second round, but in recent days, the extraordinary public support for Mr. Moussavi has led to predictions that he could win the presidency in the first round on Friday. The other contenders are Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist cleric; and Mohsen Rezai, a conservative and the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 12, 2009 12:40 PM
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