Contestants withdraw from the race before the Iranian presidential elections as campaigns end | Election news

The withdrawal of two candidates before the early elections comes after the death of President Ibrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

Two candidates in Iran’s presidential election withdrew from the race as campaigning ended a day before voting.

Ali Reza Zakani, the mayor of the capital, Tehran, said on Thursday that he would back down, in a post on the X website.

The Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency reported that the first to do so was Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi (53 years old), who dropped his candidacy on Wednesday evening and urged other candidates to do the same “so that the revolutionary front is strengthened.” .

Early elections are scheduled for Friday after President Ibrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash in May. The next presidential elections were scheduled to be held in 2025.

Hashemi served as one of my vice presidents, ran for president in the 2021 elections and received less than a million votes, finishing last.

Reporting from Tehran, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khadr said Al-Hashemi’s decision to withdraw does little to unify the conservative camp, which remains divided with two hardliners – former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqir Ghalibaf – fighting over the same bloc. .

(Al Jazeera)

Khader added that there were expectations that one of them would withdraw in support of the other, “but that did not happen.”

Governors Qalibaf and Jalili stand out as the front-runners.

Qalibaf, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ air force, served as speaker of parliament for four years, was mayor of Tehran from 2005 to 2017, and chief of police before that. He ran for president in 2005, 2013, and 2017, when he withdrew in favor of Raisi.

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Jalili, who is the direct representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the country’s Supreme National Security Council, withdrew from the 2021 elections in favor of Raisi, who won almost unchallenged.

The lone reformist, Masoud Pezeshkian, a heart surgeon, was associated with the previous administration of relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who reached the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers.

In recent days, Khamenei called for the participation of “Aqsa” in the vote.

Kheder noted that Pezeshkian still has a chance to win, “but it will all depend on voter turnout, and what we saw in previous elections was record low numbers of people going to the polls.”

Promised nearly a decade ago that the Iran nuclear deal would open the country to the rest of the world, Iranians face the burden of high inflation, crushing economic sanctions and a more uncertain Middle East amid Israel’s war on Gaza and Iran’s first direct attack against Israel in April.


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