Presidential Candidates Urged to Offer Plausible Plans

Ali LarijaniAli Larijani

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called on the candidates campaigning for the May 19 presidential race to promote plausible plans instead of indulging in rhetoric.

"All the candidates are expected to put forward plans for production and employment instead of using rhetoric that they cannot back up with action," Larijani was quoted as saying by IRNA on Thursday.

He was apparently referring to the recent remarks of two conservative contenders, Ebrahim Raeisi, custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who criticized the economic record of incumbent moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who has been cleared to stand for reelection. They claimed that if elected, they would create millions of jobs and ensure that a substantially higher proportion of government revenues trickle down to middle and lower classes of the society.

"The candidates should be honest and come up with solutions for the problems they highlight, not words aimed at garnering votes," said Larijani, a prominent conservative who has endorsed Rouhani's plans for economic reforms.

Rouhani won a landslide victory in 2013 on the platform of addressing the scourge of unemployment, corruption and other problems plaguing the country's sanctions-hit economy.

But his conservative rivals say he has failed to boost the economy despite lifting sanctions under a deal with major powers that went into force last year to scale back Tehran's nuclear program in return.  Analysts see Raeisi as the biggest challenge to Rouhani.

Both Raeisi and Qalibaf are members of the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, which has announced that only one of the two will remain on the scene on Election Day.


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