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In wake of Rouhani's win, conservative rivals vow to remain on scene

While President Hassan Rouhani’s victory was called a landslide by some, Iran’s conservatives will give the president a tough fight in implementing campaign promises.
A supporter of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani holds his poster as she celebrates his victory in the presidential election, in Tehran, Iran, May 20, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX36RDP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who promised more interaction with the world and more social freedoms, won re-election May 19 with 57% of the vote. His conservative rival, Ebrahim Raisi, who received approximately 16 million votes to Rouhani’s 23 million, conceded defeat but vowed to remain a loyal opposition, as did large swaths of conservative media in the country.

In a statement shortly after the election, Raisi, who heads Iran’s largest religious endowment and ran a populist campaign, did not congratulate the president on his election victory. Instead, Raisi listed the achievements of his own campaign, in particular raising the issues of poverty and corruption, two areas he vowed to continue to fight for. The statement also complained of election violations that he said would pursue.

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