Principlist Hopeful Pledges to Improve Livelihood

Mostafa MirsalimMostafa Mirsalim

Mostafa Mirsalim, the presidential candidate of the principlist Islamic Coalition Party, said he is prepared to end Iran's economic stasis and enhance the livelihood of millions of Iranians by bringing mass production up to speed and creating new jobs.

He made the statement in an address to Iranian expatriates in a campaign video televised on Friday night, IRNA reported.

According to the Foreign Ministry, 279 polling stations across 103 countries will be set up to help 2.5 million Iranian expatriates vote in the May 19 presidential election.

Criticizing the incumbent administration, Mirsalim said although he does not put the blame for the depressed economy on this government and believes current problems started piling up "15 years ago", President Hassan Rouhani's policies have failed to reverse or even stop the trend.

"Government policies aimed at bringing down inflation reduced investment, affecting peoples' livelihood and increasing unemployment," he said, adding that the path this government is following has deepened recession and hurt domestic producers.

Mirsalim, 70, said Iran's foreign trade needs to be more balanced and Iran's markets should not be filled with foreign-made goods.

The candidate said domestic manufacturers need to be protected against cheap imports, but warned them they need to boost their productivity and quality of their products to win the trust of the nation and be able to compete in export markets.

A member of the Expediency Council and a former culture and Islamic guidance minister, Mirsalim was the first well-known figure to register for the presidential election earlier this month, wearing a workman's uniform in a show of support for domestic laborers.

The field of candidates is almost equally divided between President Hassan Rouhani and his backers, Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri and former industries minister Mostafa Hashemitaba, and rival conservatives, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), Ebrahim Raeisi, and Mirsalim.

The six qualified candidates had their first live debate on social issues on Friday.

The next two debates will be held on May 5 and May 12 and focus on politics and economy, respectively.

Campaigning started on April 21 and will last until 24 hours before the vote.

The presidential poll will be held concurrent with the city council and midterm parliamentary elections.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints