NewsSpecial WireIran: conservative candidate denies any intention of quitting race

Iran: conservative candidate denies any intention of quitting race

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Jun. 14 – Ali Larijani, one of the eight candidates in Iran’s upcoming presidential elections, announced today that he had no intention of withdrawing from the race amid speculation that members of the ultra-conservative faction were scrambling to introduce a single candidate. Iran Focus

Tehran, Jun. 14 – Ali Larijani, one of the eight candidates in Iran’s upcoming presidential elections, announced today that he had no intention of withdrawing from the race amid speculation that members of the ultra-conservative faction were scrambling to introduce a single candidate.

“I have no intention of withdrawing”, he told a state-run news agency.

Larijani, a former top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was the head of Iran’s state-controlled television and radio up until 2004 when Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed him as his representative in the Supreme National Security Council.

Four of the eight presidential hopefuls are considered to be ultra-conservative, but recent pre-election polls have shown that none stands a chance to become president while competing against each other.

Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf seems to be the favourite to emerge as a consensus candidate for the ultra-conservatives close to Ayatollah Khamenei. Qalibaf was an ex-commander of the IRGC Air Force and later become chief of the paramilitary police force, before resigning to stand in the elections.

A minimum of 50 percent of the total ballots cast is required for any candidate to become president without a run-off.

Widespread voter apathy and an energetic “don’t vote” campaign by opposition groups are believed to be responsible for what looks set to be one of most lacklustre elections in the Islamic Republic’s history.

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