Reformists Revalidate Rouhani Reelection

Reformists Revalidate Rouhani ReelectionReformists Revalidate Rouhani Reelection

A consensus has emerged within the reformist camp over supporting President Hassan Rouhani for the upcoming presidential contest, as the rival bloc of principlists is looking at options.

The next election is scheduled for May 19, 2017, as the four-year tenure of the incumbent administration will end in July.

Although the president has not signaled his intention to vie for another four-year presidency, he is being regarded as a definite contender as all past presidents have been reelected.

The spokesman for the Hope parliamentary faction, a coalition of reformists and government backers, said on Saturday that there is strong support for Rouhani among reformists, as he has reiterated his commitment toward reformist ideals and moderation over the years.

Bahram Parsaei, who was talking to ISNA, said the public opinion is also in favor of Rouhani.

“[Any plan to] abandon Rouhani has no place at all among reformists,” he said.

In the last presidential election, the reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Aref withdrew in Rouhani’s favor, after which Rouhani topped the list of candidates with slightly more than 50% of the votes and narrowly avoided a runoff.

Fars News Agency reported on Saturday that the Islamic Coalition Party is considering eight principlist politicians to represent the group in the presidential polls.

The eight options have been shortlisted after three surveys of members of the party.

The group will vet them against 60 criteria for a competent candidate and the final choice will be announced by mid-November.

According to the timetable of the elections, presidential hopefuls will be registered in a five-day period from April 11 to 15. After the vetting process, the qualified candidates will have 20 days to mount their electoral campaigns from April 28 to May 17.

As per the law, the Interior Ministry is in charge of conducting elections and the Guardians Council is tasked with supervising polls and examining the qualifications of candidates.


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