Source Pravda.Ru

Iran began casting ballots in a presidential election

Iranians began casting ballots Friday in a tightly contested presidential election, with opinion polls showing former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani likely headed towards a runoff against either a reformist candidate or a conservative allied with the country's powerful Shiite hierarchy.

Seven candidates are vying to succeed President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/politics/2001/03/12/2943.html ' target=_blank>Mohammed Khatami, a reform-minded cleric barred from seeking a third term.

Though Khatami was elected by landslides in 1997 and 2001, many of his initiatives were blocked by clerical hard-liners who hold vast power under Iran's Islamic system of government.

With high unemployment and a sense of deep social dissatisfaction -- particularly among young people and women -- even conservative candidates talked the language of democracy and reform during the campaign, tells CNN News.

According to the Washington Post, public opinion surveys showed that &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/03/20/44670.html ' target=_blank>Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a cleric, millionaire businessman and longtime fixture in Iran's theocratic establishment, remained the favorite.

The Rafsanjani campaign, which has promoted a sense of inevitable ascent, has been buoyed by the former two-term president's reputation for managerial savvy and familiarity with the government's highest echelons.

Representatives of the North Korean administration issued a statement saying that the United States and its allies have lost the "political and military confrontation" to the DPRK

North Korea declares victory over USA

Putin made his first public comment on the subject of the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
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