The Iranian interior ministry has confirmed the landslide victory of former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani in the experts' assembly elections here.
According to the final results on Monday, carried by all local news agencies, Rafsanjani gained twice as many votes as Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, the candidate for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's faction.
Rafsanjani has issued a statement and thanked the people for having enabled him to achieve the landslide victory, which he termed a victory for democracy.
"This is a source of pride for me that through your valuable votes, I finished first in such important elections," Rafsanjani said in the statement, carried by the ISNA news agency.
The moderate Rafsanjani is a fierce opponent of Ahmadinejad, and his victory is regarded by observers as a setback for the president.
"This is a victory for the will of the people, and I hope to fulfil the trust and responsibilities placed in me," Rafsanjani said in the statement which came before the announcement of the final results of the assembly elections.