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.

Comments
US-led coalition strikes Assad's army in Syria
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Should Russia return to G8?
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
Russia demands USA should destroy chemical weapons and declassify Novichok files
US-led coalition strikes Assad's army in Syria
The ways of return in the twentieth century
Russia to cover Cuba with power plants net
Russia spends over $11 billion on 2018 World Cup
Russians start protesting against retirement age law
Russia sends assault ships to counter US aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea
Saudi footballers to be punished for losing World Cup opener to Russia
Kim-Trump Summit: A step in the right direction?
Kim-Trump Summit: A step in the right direction?
Saudi footballers to be punished for losing World Cup opener to Russia