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Iran's Vice-President withdraws from presidential race

17 May 2017 [14:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva

First Vice President of Iran, Es'haq Jahangiri, has officially announced his withdrawal from the presidential race and supported the candidacy of President Hassan Rouhani, RIA Novosti reported.

"I have worked and will continue to make efforts for the sake of success of Rouhani and his program in the elections," Jahangiri said.

Rouhani found a huge boost of favor with Iranians after he aced rounds of live-aired TV debates.

Thus, Ebrahim Raeisi, custodian of Imam Reza (AS) holy shrine, former minister of culture and Islamic guidance Mostafa Mirsalim and former minister of physical education Mostafa Hashemi Taba, as well as President Hassan Rouhani are the four candidates to run for presidency in the forthcoming presidential elections.

The two main rivals in the race are President Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raeisi.

On May 15, Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Qalibaf dropped out of the presidential race and supported the candidacy of Ayatollah Ibrahim Raeesi.

Unofficial reports say that Raisi is set to introduce Qalibaf as his to-be first vice president. By stepping out of elections, the coalition attempt to beat Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president who is running for his second term.

Nevertheless, now, after Jahangiri’s withdrawal, the chances became equalized again.

Rouhani remains popular for stabilizing the economy and ending sanctions through a nuclear deal with world powers. After lifting the sanctions, Rouhani visited a number of European states and made deals that worth billions of dollars. European companies started looking for investment opportunities in the growing Iranian market.

Raeisi, who is a close ally of the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would rely on his past record in high government posts and his managerial skills to win votes. A large number of conservatives are expected to fully support the candidacy of Ebrahim Raeisi.

The voting date for the 12th presidential and 5th city and council elections is May 19. 

To win, the candidate must score more than 50 percent of the vote. If none of the applicants succeeds in enlisting the support of such a number of voters, a second round of voting will be held, in which two leaders of the first round will participate.


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