Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2013 Contents A41
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ATHENS---Greece's prime minister has
raised the stakes in a fight with key gov-
ernment allies over his decision to shut
"sinful" state-run TV, offering a minor
compromise while suggesting he would
risk early elections unless they back him.
Antonis Samaras' remarks Friday came
just a week shy of his first anniversary in
office. His fragile three-party coalition
formed to save debt-stifled Greece from
bankruptcy is now flirting with the politi-
cal instability that has forced three
changes of government in as many years.
Simmering disagreements came to a
head with Samaras' surprise decision
Tuesday to close Hellenic Broadcasting
Corp., or ERT, with the loss of 2,656 jobs.
Announced in the name of cost-cutting
imposed by the country's bailout credi-
tors, the closure has been condemned in
Greece and abroad as a blow to media
Samaras wants to reopen a stream-
lined version of ERT from scratch in com-
ing months, and insisted Friday his two
centre-left minority partners abandon ef-
forts to keep the broadcaster alive. (AP)
Greek PM raises stakes on broadcaster's closure
Iranian centrist candidate Has-
san Rohani has won the Islamic
republic s presidential election,
Interior Minister Mostafa
Iranian officials reported a high
turnout, with nearly 73 per cent
of some 50 million registered vot-
ers---men and women, young and
old---turning out, Najjar said.
The lines extended into the
streets at times Friday, as voters
waited to pick their choice to suc-
ceed two-term President Mah-
moud Ahmadinejad in the coun-
try s 11th presidential election.
Rohani takes Ahmadinejad s
mantle as one of the country s
most visible figures, at a time when
it s dealing with painful economic
sanctions tied to international con-
cern about its nuclear programme.
But he won t be Iran s most
powerful man. That distinction
belongs to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
who has been Iran s supreme leader
since 1989. He s got plenty of back-
ing, from conservative citizens to
loyalist militia groups to, most
notably, the Revolutionary Guard.
The other candidates were two-
term Tehran mayor Mohammad
Bagher Ghalibaf, Saeed Jalili,
Mohsen Rezaei, Ali-Akbar Velayati
and Mohammad Gharazi.
Velayati, Ghalibaf and Jalili, who
is Iran s chief nuclear negotiator,
are considered close to Khamenei
and would have been unlikely to
challenge his authority. Of the
three, Jalili had enjoyed the most
popular support going into the
Results showed that Rohani
secured 50.7 per cent of the
36,704,156 votes tallied.
Second was Ghalibaf and third
Moments after Rohani was
declared the winner, supporters
started filling the area near Tehran s
Haft-e-Tir Square to celebrate,
waving the campaign s purple flags,
a witness told CNN. Motorists
honked, and pedestrians held their
fingers high with the V sign.
The British Foreign Office imme-
diately called upon Rohani to set
a new course for Iran.
"We call on him to use the
opportunity to set Iran on a dif-
ferent course for the future:
addressing international concerns
about Iran s nuclear programme,
taking forward a constructive rela-
tionship with the international
community, and improving the
political and human rights situation
for the people of Iran," a British
Foreign Office spokesman said.
Earlier, British Prime Minister
David Cameron told CNN s Richard
Quest that the international com-
munity "will have to deal with
whatever the situation is."
"We have to remember this is
always only an election between a
restricted number of candidates,
it s not democracy as we know it,"
It was Iran s Guardian Council,
an unelected body made up of six
clerics and six lawyers operating
under the oversight of the supreme
leader, that drew up the restricted
list of candidates from the 680
who initially registered.
Eight candidates were approved,
two of whom subsequently
The final six contenders didn t
include any women. Nor did they
include Ahmadinejad s aide and
protege Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei,
who was among those excluded by
the Guardian Council.
Rohani had the backing of the
highly influential former president
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and
appears to have won over parts of
Iran s subdued reform movement.
The 65-year-old cleric s cam-
paign began to gather steam last
month, when he dared to accuse
the state media of censorship and
lies during a live interview on state
TV, and then criticised the gov-
ernment s tight grip on security at
a televised rally a few days later.
Despite his growing popularity
among opposition circles, Rohani
has long been a part of Iran s ruling
The only cleric among the can-
didates, he has close ties to
Khamenei and served in Iran s par-
liament for two decades. He was
also Iran s lead nuclear negotiator
from 2003 to 2005 and currently
holds seats on several powerful
decision-making bodies. (CNN)
Hassan Rohani is
Iran's next president
Iranian centrist candidate Hassan Rohani won the Islamic republic's presidential election yesterday.
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