President Hopes for Glorious Election

People’s turnout is very important for the future of Iran, hence all should work to ensure widespread participation in a secure and calm atmosphere
President Hassan Rouhani addresses elections officials in Tehran on Feb. 25.President Hassan Rouhani addresses elections officials in Tehran on Feb. 25.

President Hassan Rouhani said elections are the biggest source of Iran's power against its enemies, saying all Iranians should join hands to hold a "glorious" presidential election on May 19.

"I hope we will witness a competitive, glorious election, stunning all enemies and holding promise for friends across the world," Rouhani told election officials in a meeting held in Tehran on Saturday.

The president described elections as a "divine gift" that "revives hope" among people, saying it is up to everyone to help officials in holding fair and healthy elections, reported.

The presidential elections will coincide with city council and midterm parliamentary polls.

The president urged Iranian politicians and officials to encourage maximum participation in the poll.

"People's turnout is very important for the future of Iran and its glory across the world, so all of us should work to ensure widespread participation in a secure and calm atmosphere," he said. Rouhani said electoral campaigns for the upcoming votes should not polarize people, as it will lead to "emotional" behavior among supporters of candidates.

"Elections should not be the scene of rivalry among parties and fronts. There should be rivalry over plans in a healthy atmosphere and all of us should embrace the people's choice," he said.

The president urged the Interior Ministry, the body in charge of organizing elections, to keep a watch on candidates' publicity campaigns and prevent the use of public and governmental resources for promoting candidates or political currents.

"No one has the right to use public media, state broadcaster, newspapers and news websites that are financed by public funds to advertise for a candidate or political bloc," he said.

Rouhani noted that his administration has fulfilled the promises it gave to people in 2013, pointing to the estimated economic growth rate of 6% for the current Iranian year (ending March 20) and the government's success in reducing inflation to below 10%, among other achievements. Less than three months left to the next presidential votes, Rouhani, who avoided a runoff with a slight margin in the 2013 vote, has not yet announced whether he will seek reelection.

However, no Iranian president who finished his first term has refused to seek an extension.

Many senior figures from the reformist camp, whose candidate in the 2013 elections withdrew in favor of Rouhani, have already expressed their backing for Rouhani.

The Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, a recently-founded principlist coalition, is expected to play a big role in the May 19 presidential poll, possibly the most serious challenge for Rouhani.

Hopefuls for the presidential race should sign up from April 11 to 15.

Those who pass the vetting process will have 20 days to stage their electoral campaigns, from April 28 to May 17.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints