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Iran: ballot threatens Ahmadinejad's rule

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Iran: ballot threatens Ahmadinejad's rule

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It is an election that could change Iranian politics.

Surrounded by his supporters, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has voted after one of the country’s most lively campaigns in years. Ahmadinejad is in a closely fought race against a former prime minister who has sharply criticised the government’s track record. Mirhossein Mousavi is described as a reformist who could improve ties with the West. Some political commentators say Mousavi has a real chance of winning, but others are not so sure. A total of four candidates are standing for president, including liberal cleric Mehdi Karoubi and former Revolutionary Guard leader Mohsen Rezaie. One of the first to cast a ballot was the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The man who has the final say in all state matters urged people to turn out to vote in a peaceful manner. The economy has been the top campaign issue. Ahmadinejad argues he has revived economic growth, but his critics point to high inflation, poverty and unemployment.