We may have a bit of a race in Iran’s election. The latest from World News Online:
TEHRAN: Mariam is undecided who she will choose in Iran’s presidential race but the 27-year-old from the Iranian capital’s poor southern suburbs is sure of one thing: she will not vote for former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
“The root of all this unemployment and the current economic problems is Rafsanjani,” the civil servant said, wandering down a south Tehran street festooned with posters for the seven candidates standing in today’s polls.
The campaign began almost as a one-horse race, but after more than two weeks of campaigning that ended yesterday, Rafsanjani’s lead has sharply eroded and his chances of securing the 50 percent vote needed for a first-round win seem slim.
The race is the tightest in Iran’s history with reformist Mostafa Moin and conservative Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who both ran vigorous campaigns, in second and third place according to opinion polls, although polls have been unreliable in the past.
Moin is described by MEMRI being initially disqualified:
As in the past, the Guardian Council gave no explanation for its disqualification of most of the reformist candidates. The most prominent of these candidates was Mustafa Mo’in, the former Higher Education minister in the Khatami government, who had been ousted by the conservative Seventh Majlis. Mo’in’s disqualification was protested by reformist and conservative political circles alike. Prominent reformist groups announced that they would boycott the elections, and violent riots by Tehran University students broke out.
In light of these developments, Iranian Leader ‘Ali Khamenei immediately ordered the Guardian Council to reconsider the disqualification of Mo’in and of another reformist candidate, Vice President Mohsen Mehralizadeh. The Guardian Council then announced that these two reformists were on the approved list, in accordance with Khamenei’s order. Mo’in announced that he would reconsider his candidacy in light of the Guardian Council’s actions, but ultimately declared his candidacy, and harshly criticized the Guardian Council, calling its conduct “anti-constitutional.”
Maybe this Mo’in is a true reformer, but then, Rafsanjani described himself that way once too…Back to the original article:
In south Tehran, several of those questioned backed Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative hopefuls credited with sprucing up the down-at-heel area.
“I support Ahmedinejad because of what he has done to the city. If you look at the city, you can see the changes,” said 37-year-old trader Ali Salehi.
Ahmedinejad is described by MEMRI as expressing “more extreme conservative views than the other [conservative candidates]. Also according to MEMRI “A poll by the official Iranian News Agency (IRNA) among 45,834 voters throughout Iran asked “Whom will you vote for?”; 27.1% of respondents said Rafsanjani, 18.9% said Mo’in, and 16.5% said Qalibaf…Qalibaf was until recently Iran’s police chief” and is also identified as a conservative.