A look at Iran's presidential candidates

Many Iranians in Canada are eager for increased engagement between Ottawa and Tehran
Many Iranians in Canada are eager for increased engagement between Ottawa and Tehran
Author

20 May, 2017

He is the country's chief executive and officially in charge of implementing the constitution and Iran's macro policies.

There are no high-profile calls for a boycott, but some Iranians vowed not to vote, citing the undemocratic nature of a system in which potential candidates are vetted by the hard-line Guardians Council.

He added that the monitoring and executive committees are closely cooperating with each other and emphasized that no serious violation has been reported so far.

However, if no candidate reaches this threshold, a run-off election will be carried out between the two presidential hopefuls who receive the highest number of votes.

Iranians vote Friday for the next president of the Islamic republic, but how does that elected leader fit into the country's clerically managed government that approves candidates ultimately overseen by its supreme leader?

About 55 million people are eligible to vote in Iran, where the voting age is 18.

In the last election, Rouhani won more than three times as many votes as his closest challenger. In that regard, Bayram Sinkaya, a prominent academic and expert on Iran, commented on the matter to Daily Sabah and said that neither Hashemitaba nor Mirsalam has a good chance of winning the elections, noting that all of the traditional conservatives, technocrats as well as reformists and supporters of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have gathered around Rouhani.

The Islamic Republic's first presidential election since the 2015 nuclear accord drew surprisingly large numbers of voters to polling stations, with some reporting waiting in line for hours to cast their votes.

At home, he faces a conservative backlash that condemns his opening to the West and (implicitly) his nuclear deal.

About 55 millions of electors will have the task to elect their new president on May 19, among them 2.5 million are living overseas. But they are anxious to keep out Raisi, who they see as representing the security state at its most fearsome: in the 1980s he was one of four judges who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death.

Raisi, 56, and Rouhani, 68, traded charges of graft and brutality on live television with an open vehemence unseen since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Debates have largely centered on this issue. The average Iranian has yet to see the benefits of the deal, which saw Iran limit its contested nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

The presidential election is held on a Friday across the country. Raisi accused Rouhani of "economic elitism, mismanagement, yielding to Western pressure, and corruption".

Unemployment, meanwhile, remains stuck in the double digits, with almost a third of Iranian youth out of work, according to the International Monetary Fund. But unemployment remains at an estimated 12 percent, with the rate among young people closer to 30 percent. Iran's presidents set the regional, worldwide and diplomatic tone, but that tone is aimed at serving the objectives of the supreme leader and the IRGC.

Rouhani stated the choice facing Iranians simply: "Our nation will announce if it continues on the path of peacefulness, or if it wants to choose tension".

Ershan Nasroudi, 35, voiced a similar view. "If I do not vote today and the results turn out to contradict my will, I may regret it later", Neda Taherkhani, 26, said excitedly as she changed weight from one foot to the other restlessly.

In Iran, where political speech is severely curtailed, newspapers and even social media channels are government regulated and protest comes with great personal risk, the quadrennial presidential election is an opportunity to blow off emotional steam, to act politically in the most public, and loud, of ways.

Supporters of the two leading candidates honked, blared music and held pictures of the hopefuls out of auto windows on the traffic-clogged and heavily policed streets of Tehran late into the night Thursday, ignoring a ban on campaigning in the final 24 hours before the vote.

Standing behind a lectern and surveying the sea of purple - his campaign color - before him, Rouhani promised much.

"We all want to show that we want to have freedom". The final decision-maker in Iran's domestic and foreign policy is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


More news


  • Rolf Harris to be released from prison

    Rolf Harris to be released from prison

    He has served nearly three years in jail after convictions in 2014 but has been granted bail over his current charges. She said: "Every time he came on the TV, I told people "he's a pervert" or something along those lines".
    Colorado towns hit with 3 feet of snow. Happy May

    Colorado towns hit with 3 feet of snow. Happy May

    Rain and snow are expected to linger through Friday night in Colorado Springs, but sunnier, drier weather is ahead. Prior to this event, the last measurable snowfall (greater than 0.10 of an inch) in both cities was on April 29.
    Matt Harvey was partying at club until 4 am day of absence

    Matt Harvey was partying at club until 4 am day of absence

    NY called up journeyman Adam Wilk from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill in on short notice and little-to-no sleep. Harvey threw a bullpen before Wednesday's 6-5 loss to San Francisco in the series finale in Flushing.
  • White House calls Sally Yates a 'political opponent' of Trump

    White House calls Sally Yates a 'political opponent' of Trump

    Yates' warning about Flynn in January capped weeks of building concern among top Obama officials, former officials told the AP. Here are some of the biggest issues that have not been directly answered by any current or former government official.
    Mauricio Pochettino Fires Spurs Up For Manchester United Visit

    Mauricio Pochettino Fires Spurs Up For Manchester United Visit

    It's hard to accept at this moment of the season - a very important [game] and especially in a derby game. There are games you must win, it's not about playing good or bad, or running more or less.
    'An embarrassment': U.S.  health care far from the top in global study

    'An embarrassment': U.S. health care far from the top in global study

    With a score of 52, South Africa ranked 119th, along with the Philippines , above Gabon and Botswana , and below Namibia.
  • Revenue Estimates to Track: Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)

    As per Thursday, March 17, the company rating was initiated by Citigroup. (NYSE:HBI) on Thursday, September 17 to "Buy" rating. Blackrock Institutional Na invested 0.03% of its portfolio in Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) for 197,600 shares. (NYSE:HBI).

    Cornell family cites drug he was prescribed

    In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a "daily drug user at 13, " who had quit by the time he had turned 14. Soundgarden's support band The Dillinger Escape Plan spoke about how Chris had been on the rest of the tour .
    NASCAR schedule: Chicagoland Speedway to lose playoff race, report says

    NASCAR schedule: Chicagoland Speedway to lose playoff race, report says

    The victor of each of the first three will be locked into the final 10 auto , 10 lap stage, providing they stay on the lead lap. Each team will have three sets of "prime" tires with an additional "optional" set of softer tires to use at their discretion.
  • Now any developer can make Instant Apps for Android

    Now any developer can make Instant Apps for Android

    He said if his wife would have said the same thing, Google Home would have called Rishi Chandra's mother-in-law. And Google knows just how important it is to keep the Play Store up and running smoothly all the time .

    Hot Stocks Report: Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), Curis, Inc. (CRIS)

    Zacks Investment Research lowered Plug Power from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 18th. The consensus recommendation by Thomson Reuters analysts is Hold and their mean rating for the stock is 3.13 on scale of 1-5.
    Earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation of Australian coast discovered

    Earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation of Australian coast discovered

    These shells represent the first direct evidence of marine resource use in Australia, and some of the earliest in our region. The site provides a unique window into how these early human settlers adapted to their changing landscape.