Reformists Urged to Pursue Multi-Candidate Strategy

Reformists Urged to Pursue Multi-Candidate StrategyReformists Urged to Pursue Multi-Candidate Strategy

A reformist lawmaker said the camp supporting President Hassan Rouhani will field their backup candidate so as to respond to the conservatives' probable strategy of endorsing multiple candidates.

"Principlists may reach last-minute agreement over a preferred candidate, but they will definitely enter the race with four or five hopefuls, hence reformists ought not to risk entering the polls with only one candidate," Mohammad Reza Tabesh also told IRNA on Saturday.

Two major political camps constituting reformists and principlists are at the heart of Iranian politics. All other possible candidates not affiliated with any one of these two camps are considered independent.

Though conservatives are seeking to agree on a single candidate, some of them have argued fielding several candidates to increase their chances of winning the race. On the other hand, reformists, who played a major role in Rouhani's victory in the 2013 election, have endorsed his reelection bid.

In line with their goal, the conservatives held the second meeting of the newly established coalition, known as the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, at Shahr-e Aftab Complex, south of Tehran on Thursday and shortlisted their final prospective options.

The list included Ebrahim Raeisi, the custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), followed by Alireza Zakani, a former lawmaker, Mehrdad Bazrpash, also a former lawmaker, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who is the current mayor of Tehran, and Parviz Fattah, the current head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee.

However, principlists are finding that getting their house in order ahead of the next month's election is becoming more complicated than ever, as they seem to be divided over some fundamental approaches.

"Evidence shows that they have not arrived at a consensus yet," Tabesh said.

Iranians will go to the polls on May 19 to take part in the presidential, city council and midterm parliamentary elections.


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