Iran presidential hopefuls to debate on TV tomorrow



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Thursday 30 May 2013

Last update 30 May 2013 3:48 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

TEHRAN: The eight candidates running for Iran’s highest elected office are to take part in a televised debate tomorrow.
Campaigning for the June 14 presidential poll officially began last week after Iran’s electoral watchdog, the Guardians Council, approved the eight — including several figures close to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — from a field of nearly 700 would-be candidates.
But it has been mostly confined to short provincial tours and media appearances on state television and radio, rather than the street rallies by supporters of candidates in the 2009 presidential election that gave Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second four-year term. The Guardians Council has barred two would-be heavyweight candidates, moderate ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad’s close ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie.
The debate tomorrow, the first of three, is expected to take the form of a question and answer session, with Iran’s ailing and sanctions-hit economy expected to top the agenda.
The run-up to the 2009 election, which led to anti-regime protests over voter fraud charges, produced heated exchanges between Ahmadinejad and his pro-reform opponents, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, in live face-to-face debates on state television.
This year’s campaign has been low-key. Street rallies are banned, according to security officials, and candidates have yet to roll out election posters or banners, even in major cities.
“I have not yet received many orders to print posters or banners for the presidential election,” said Ali, 32, owner of a major printing house in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
“This is probably because there are so many of them. Many will withdraw and do not want to waste their money.”
The eight candidates comprise five conservatives, including top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, two moderates and a reformist.
Pre-recorded messages from candidates began to air on Saturday and have already roused controversy.
Mohsen Rezai, former commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards and a conservative, had his speech censored as he spoke of a father who had lost three sons in the 1980s war against Iraq. Quoting the unnamed man, Rezai criticized raging inflation and high unemployment in the country, saying the father had threatened to commit suicide if the economy was not fixed.
Rezai’s controversial comments on “ethnic discrimination” were also edited out, media reports said.
The debate tomorrow, which could run up to four hours, is expected to provide a glimpse into candidates’ plans for the economy, which has been hit hard by international sanctions targeting Iran’s vital oil income over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, on Thursday led the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia taking part in the meeting of the international coalition countries to coun...
Munich: Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir led the Saudi delegation to the meetings of the International Syria Support Group meetings, taking place here.The meetings, which have begun, in Vienna, exert efforts to find a political so...
Brigadier General Ahmad Al-Assiri, the Military Advisor to the Minister of Defense, asserted the Kingdom is ready to send ground troops to fight Daesh, as soon as the international coalition gives the green light, and that this decision of Saudi Arab...
JAZAN: Seven lives were snuffed out and several others sustained injuries as a gunman went on a killing spree in Al-Dair governorate of Jazan on Thursday. Employees at an education department office came under a hail of bullets resulting in casualtie...
RIYADH: The ongoing Janadriyah national heritage and culture festival welcomed German government representatives as the guests of honor, marking a new era in Saudi-German ties.Detlef Daues, chief executive officer of a German business group, said: “I...
RIYADH: Highlighting the importance of caring, preservation and better maintenance of mosques located along highways in the Kingdom, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Masajedna Foundation will honor excellence in...
ABHA: Women graduates in Asir say they are looking for private companies to hire them for online jobs which can be done at home.They asked businessmen to open new production lines for women in both factories and banks.The women said that this would c...
ABHA: Deviant groups have attempted to attract Saudi women to carry out terrorist operations by various means and in sinister ways.Many women have been found to have been recruited by terrorist groups inside and outside the Kingdom.Islamic scholar Mo...
RIYADH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has written a patriotic poem to inspire Saudi troops at the southern borders.Titled, “I wish to be with you,” the poem infuses encouragement in the hearts and minds of troops guarding the borders in Najran,...
RIYADH: A delegation of senior officials from King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) visited the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) to discuss cooperation between the two institutions on sustainable energ...
RIYADH: The Office of the Education Department in eastern Taif has launched a program called “Fatin” which aims to protect students from intellectual threats around them.Fahhad Al-Zuibi, director at the Office for Education said, “The program aims to...
RIYADH: The Taif theater group won two awards when it participated recently in the ninth edition of a theatrical festival in Bahrain. The group, which represented the Kingdom in the theatrical festival, mounted a play production titled “Out of Contro...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurated the first festival for families with handicapped members at the King Fahd Cultural Center (KFCC) on Wednesday evening. The festival, which will last for three days, features a bazaar that displ...
RIYADH: A separate department to provide enhanced security to the Kingdom’s schools will be set up in all educational regions, Education Minister Ahmad Mohamed Al-Issa announced on Wednesday.Under the new directive, such departments will be establish...
RIYADH: Under a new ministerial ruling, payment of the minimum capital for industrial development is to be abolished.To support industrial development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a ministerial decree eliminating the requirement of t...

Stay Connected

Facebook