Two candidates – one hardliner and one reformer – have quit Iran’s presidential race, leaving six competing in the June 14 poll. Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, a “principlist” hardliner and ex-parliamentary speaker, dropped out on June 10. Mohammad Reza Aref, a reformist and former vice president, followed on June 11. He received a letter from former President Mohammad Khatami advising him to step down.
One reformer, two independents and three conservatives now remain in the running. The only candidate to gain from the smaller slate of candidates is Hassan Rouhani, who is now the lone reformist candidate. Khatami and other reformist leaders have declared their support for Rouhani, a cleric and former secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. Haddad-Adel did not officially endorse any other candidate. The following are excerpts from their withdrawal statements.
The second round of presidential candidate debates was aired on Iranian state television on June 5 with a focus on cultural and social issues. The session opened with the moderator indicating changes in the debate format. The structure of the first debate had been widely criticized by some of the candidates as well as some media outlets.
In the second session, each candidate got a chance to present his points and later the other candidates were given a chance to critique their peers‘ statements. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Iran’s eight presidential candidates clashed on issues of culture, personal freedoms and women’s rights at the June 5 debate. Hassan Rouhani and Mohammed Reza Aref repeatedly criticized government censorship of the internet, press and academia. They argued that censorship had prevented Iranian artists from creating quality productions and led people to watch foreign television shows and movies. Rouhani and Aref opposed the confiscation of satellites dishes and interference in people’s private lives. Even two conservative candidates ―Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf (below in black) and Ali Akbar Velayati― challenged government filtering.
Photo: Mehdi Dehghan/AP
We stopped live coverage at the end of the first half of the debate.
Radio Free Europe offers this live summary of the second half.
Live Coverage of the 2nd Presidential debate on Wednesday, covering society and culture: Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
At the first presidential debate on May 31, Iran’s eight presidential candidates spent more time arguing over the quiz show format than debating each other. Tensions erupted when the moderator asked yes-or-no and multiple choice questions. “I’m not answering these questions,” said Mohammad Reza Aref (left). “I answered test questions 40 or 50 years ago.” Hassan Rouhani scolded the moderator, warning that the public also probably found the format “offensive.” The television station should have consulted with each candidate’s staff beforehand, said the cleric. Mohsen Rezai complained that the program did not allow candidates to engage directly with each another. Saeed Jalili and Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel refused to answer the questions. The moderator gave up after question eight, reportedly leaving 16 questions unasked.
Source: Press TV
Iranian Reformist presidential candidate Mohammad Reza Aref says he has no intention of forming a coalition with rival candidate Hassan Rohani for the June 14 vote. In an interview with the Mehr New Agency on Sunday, Aref said he would stay in the presidential race „to the end.“
Iranian presidential candidates Mohammad Reza Aref (L) and Hassan Rohani
Source: Sharqh daily
„If elected president, I will form working groups and interact with the elite in various sectors in the country and announce my plans,“ Aref, a former first vice president, said.
Stating that a million job opportunities need to be created in Iran every year, the reformist candidate underlined the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the process of job creation.
„ICT should create some 200,000 direct job opportunities in the country [annually],“ the presidential candidate said.
Aref faces seven rivals: Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, President of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council Hassan Rohani, lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi.
The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election.
By late May 2013, all eight presidential candidates had set up campaign websites or social media websites. Some of their campaigns even appeared to have made Twitter and Facebook accounts, both of which are blocked in Iran. The candidates’ supporters have also launched dozens of unofficial blogs, websites and social media accounts. The following is a rundown of the candidates’ websites and social media.
The eight men vying to become Iran’s next president are set to face off in the first of three televised debates.
Friday’s debate will be the first chance for the Iranian public to see the eight men on the same stage since campaigning began last week. So far, the candidates‘ public appearances have been limited to brief campaign stops and some short appearances on television and radio.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned all the candidates to be truthful and respectful during the debates.
According to remarks published on his website, he said the candidates „should refrain from tarnishing their opponents and the realities of the society just to attract votes.“
Four years ago, televised debates between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and pro-reform opponents Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi produced several heated exchanges.
Some candidates have already complained of censorship by authorities. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
The western media tells us that all Iranian conservatives think the same, but this is far from the reality. There is an immense diversity of opinion amongst pro-government Iranians, and these monthly reports analyse the disparity between conservative opinion blogs in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
2013 Presidential Election
This month, the most discussed topic amongst conservative bloggers was the presidential election slated for June of this year.
One of the most interesting topics that arose was whether elections are ‘free’. Leading Reformist politicians Mohammad Khatami and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that this presidential election would only be competitive if it was held “freely”. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, refuted this call by claiming that all presidential elections under the Islamic Republic have been free, and stating that to emphasise ‘free elections’ in this specific case meant calling into question all previous elections.
Following on Ayatollah Khamenei’s reaction, his supporters began to denounce ‘free elections’ as the newest language of sedition. Seyed Mehdi Mirudoodi, on the blogNothing in a post entitled “A writing class on free elections!”, proposed a definition of ‘free elections’ from the conservatives’ point of view: “We must allow elections to happen. Afterwards, if our candidate got enough votes, then we say the election was free; if not, we announce that the election was not free!”
Another vibrant, elections-related discussion centred around who the potential candidates might be. Although less than five months away, there are still no confirmed candidates for the upcoming election. The writer of Anti Mosaicism, in a post that has since been deleted, argued that Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, the former chairman of the Iranian parliament, is supporting the candidacy of Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the former chief of police and current mayor of Tehran.
Perhaps in the most interesting conservative blog post this month, the blog Worryput forward an intricate analysis of the potential candidates. In the writer’s opinion, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf does not stand a chance due to “the extensive documentation of his, his wife’s, and his son’s corruption, which should soon be published“. The blogger also rebuffs the chances of the current chairman of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, despite his “good reputation amongst the people”. Due to Larijani’s unclear position during the 2009 presidential election, the blogger posits that religious voters will not opt for him. According to Worry, none of the known potential candidates have a real chance to win the election and we will need to wait for a new person to enter the race. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags