Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Iran hardliner Ebrahim Raisi registers for election

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his former vice president Hamid Bagaei attend a press conference in Tehran Ahmadinejad defies Khamenei
Saul Franklin | 15 April, 2017, 02:40

He retains the support of moderate and reformist lawmakers for taming inflation and reaching a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani registered on Friday to run for a second four-year term in the country's May election.

The same critics might similarly argue that there is little prospect for economic improvement under Rouhani or a more recognizably hardline candidate, but this is not to say that Ahmadinejad and other hardliners do not substantially differ from Rouhani and his supporters in terms of economic strategy.

He vowed to serve the Iranians, and try hard for the establishment of "justice and freedom" if he is reelected as the president.

Influential cleric Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian of a powerful organization in charge of Iran's holiest shrine, appears to be the leading hardline candidate. He is also a member of Assembly of Experts, an all-cleric body that will rule on the successor for the Supreme Leader.

But after his registration on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad told journalists that Khamenei's recommendation was "just advice", Iranian media reported.

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He said his decision to run was meant to help former Vice President Hamid Baghaei, a close confidant.

"Rouhani was elected primarily on the promise of elevating the economic position of Iranians", Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior policy fellow for the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council for Foreign Relations, said before the president registered his candidacy.

But many hard-liners in Iran seek a tough-talking candidate to rally around who can stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a joint news conference following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 28, 2017. The council normally does not approve dissidents or women for the formal candidate list. "There is extensive pressure on me from dear people of different walks of life as their small servant to come to the election".

The hopefuls will have 20 days for electoral campaigns, ahead of the election day slated for May 19.

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