High Voter Turnout Needed to Uphold Rationality, Moderation

High Voter Turnout Needed to Uphold Rationality, ModerationHigh Voter Turnout Needed to Uphold Rationality, Moderation

Prominent political analyst and Tehran University professor Sadeq Zibakalam called for a huge turnout in the upcoming presidential election to help reinforce the nation's move along the path to "political rationality" and "moderation".

"The main reason pushing us to participate in the election is not to slip back to the plague afflicted on the country during the 2005-2013 period [the term of the previous administration]," Zibakalam said on Thursday, IRNA reported. Urging people to trust incumbent President Hassan Rouhani for a second term, he said such a move will definitely indicate people's political awareness.

"Had people approved of the policies adopted during 2005 to 2013, they would have chosen a candidate with views close to [former president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's in the previous presidential race [2013]," he said.

The pro-reform expert criticized the previous government for its drastic and imprudent measures in economic, cultural, political, social and international areas, whose crippling effects are persisting, stressing that Rouhani has not followed the same path. Inflation exceeded 40% under Ahmadinejad and the country faced many economic challenges and political hurdles in the global arena.

Curbing the massive inflation is an outstanding point among Rouhani's major economic achievements, since the current government has managed to bring the inflation rate down to a single-digit after 25 years.

Zibakalam pointed to the 2015 landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and major powers as a remarkable accomplishment of the Rouhani government. The deal, which came into force in January 2016, led to the removal of sanctions against the country, helping ease economic pressures. The analyst said that at the early stage of nuclear negotiations in 2013, many supporters of the previous president criticized the negotiating team, which is obviously another sign of their incorrect political views.  

The presidential poll will be held on May 19, along with city council and midterm parliamentary elections.

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