I want to emphasize again that we’re dealing with early, scattered and to an extent contradictory reports. But what’s come into focus in the last half hour suggests this election could escalate into something pretty messy. For a few hours both sides have been claiming victory with 60% or so of the vote. But campaigns often make these sorts of claims. And the polls were still not closed.
But now the official state news agency has called the election or perhaps better to say ‘reported’ that Ahmadinejad has won.
al Arabiya has the state news agency calling it for Ahmadinejad with a somewhat improbable 75% majority (ed.note: latter reports suggest the government claim is of a 69% win). That’s not quote the ‘state’ calling it for the incumbent. But it sounds like that’s where we’re headed.
At the same time, Mr. Mousavi just held a press conference in which he said that he’s the “definite winner” and by a substantial margin.
So like I said, this ride could get pretty bumpy.
Late Update: We’re trying to piece together the details here. But the latest seems to be that election officials are calling the election for Ahmadinejad with a bit over 69% of the vote. Perhaps not a huge distinction from the official state news agency. But a significant difference, I think.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.