Iran extends voting amid long lines at polling places

May 19 (UPI) — Voting in Iran’s presidential election was extended twice on Friday due to long lines at polling places where voters are selecting the Islamic republic’s next president.

Voting in the capital Tehran was extended until 11 p.m. Elsewhere in the country polls will be held open until 10 p.m.

They were originally scheduled to close at 7 p.m. across the country.

The election is a key test for the nation’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who is facing a trio of challengers, two conservatives and a reformist, in his bid for a second term. If no candidate wins an outright majority of Friday’s vote, a runoff election between the top two finishers will be held next week.

No Iranian president has failed to win re-election since 1985. Typically, power only changes hands when the president steps down.

Results are not expected until sometime Saturday.

Rouhani was elected on the promise of creating a more open society. While he negotiated a nuclear arms deal with the West that lifted harsh economic sanctions, many of his promised domestic reforms have yet to happen, leading some to question whether the voters who picked him have lost confidence in his reform agenda.


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