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My Gut Tells Me Ahmadinejad Lost

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And this guy (Mirhossein Mousavi) won hands down.

Why?

Well, the buzz has been tremendous about this election, especially after Lebanon was taken back by the moderates. Iranians are more excited about this election than any in recent memory. They’re out in the streets actively campaigning, and, oddly enough, I see some pretty interesting parallels between theirs and the one we had last fall.

First, you have a hardline, unapologetic President who rattles his sabre frequently. Also, his fiscal policies have nearly crippled the economy. Add to that the fact that this is the first election where Iran has had televised debates (think about Obama’s use of social networking tech) and it’s gets a little eerie.

And apparently people are coming to the polls in droves. This is rarely a good sign for incumbents with low approval ratings. Change is in the air and, as the title suggests, I really think we’re seeing the last of Ahmadinejad’s reign.

From Reuters:

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main moderate challenger both claimed to be leading in a hotly-contested election in Iran on Friday.

Millions of Iranians streamed to polling stations, causing voting to be extended by four hours to 10 p.m. (1730 GMT) to allow more people to cast ballots, the Interior Ministry said.

Sadegh Kharazi, a senior backer of former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi, said surveys made by reformers showed that Mousavi was getting about 58-60 percent of the votes. […]

Long queues had formed at voting centers and officials said they expected a turnout of about 70 percent or more, approaching the record of nearly 80 percent when reformist Mohammad Khatami swept the 1997 presidential election.

Some people said they had waited for more than two hours to cast ballots, both in northern, affluent areas of Tehran where Mousavi draws support and in southern, poorer neighborhoods seen as Ahmadinejad strongholds.

Fingers crossed. Because if Mousavi does win, it’ll mean a new beginning with Iran.

More as it develops…