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Iran votes in presidential poll tipped in hard-liner’s favor

Iranaian election

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iranians are voting in a presidential election that a hard-line protege of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seems likely to win.

That has led to low turnout fueled by apathy and calls for a boycott.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. local time Friday for the vote.

Public apathy has been widespread after a panel overseen by Khamenei barred hundreds of candidates, including reformists and those aligned with the outgoing president, the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani.

Opinion polling by state-linked organizations as well as analysts have put hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi as the dominant front-runner among the four candidates.

Former Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati is running as the moderate candidate but hasn't inspired the same support as Rouhani.

Billy Draffin

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