Principlists Vow to Tackle Unemployment, Corruption

Principlists Vow to Tackle Unemployment, CorruptionPrinciplists Vow to Tackle Unemployment, Corruption

The two leading principlist challengers to incumbent Hassan Rouhani's reelection bid, Ebrahim Raeisi and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, have promised to boost youth employment and curb economic corruption.

Raeisi, the 56-year-old custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), and Qalibaf, the 55-year-old Tehran mayor, are both supported by the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces.

Outlining his plans in a televised interview on Wednesday, Raeisi said although the official rate of unemployment is 12%, many of the unemployed are educated youth, IRNA reported.

"Unemployment is the mother of various types of social harms, including divorce. We are intent on improving the economic conditions of the people," he said.

Raeisi said if elected to office, he would create millions of jobs and ease the hardships of Iranian people, not by looking to foreigners to open the way for us, but by "exploiting domestic capacities and the potential of the massive workforce".

The principlist hopeful, a former prosecutor general, said the Iranian people can no longer tolerate massive corruption cases grabbing the headlines every few days.

"The first task of the government should be to fix structures that facilitate corruption. We should develop a banking system in which embezzlement is not possible," he said.

The candidate also said he would also double or triple cash handouts to the poor.

Qalibaf, speaking in a promotional TV program, reiterated a previous pledge that he would create five million jobs during his four-year presidency.

"Over 10% of our people are in grinding poverty and find it a challenge to meet their most basic needs, whereas we are living in a rich country that has significant natural resources," he said.

Qalibaf said his government would fiercely fight tax evasion, in addition to other measures, to improve the business environment.

"On May 19, the Iranian people should decide whether they want the current situation, which means unemployment, social harms and recession, to continue, or they seek a change," he said.


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