Iranian Presidential Candidates to Hold First TV Debate Friday
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The first nationally televised debate in the race for the Iranian presidency will take place on Friday evening in a three-hour-long exchange in which all candidates are going to discuss socio-cultural issues.
There are officially six candidates in the race for the highest executive post in Iran, including the incumbent president himself.
To be allotted equal minutes of speaking time each, the candidates are scheduled to explicate their plans today to deal with the country’s major social and cultural problems after taking the office.
The candidates have been singled out by the Guardian Council from among more than 1,600 applicants seeking presidency.
Three of the candidates categorized as “reformists” include President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, and Mostafa Hashemitaba.
The other three, known for belonging to the “principlist” political faction, include Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, the chief custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim.
Overall, each of the candidates have been allocated over 1,100 minutes to talk about their campaign pledges in various radio and television programs aired by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
The presidential election will be held on May 19.
During the previous polls in June 2013, Rouhani garnered 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes.
The number of eligible voters in the upcoming election is estimated to be around 1.5 million higher than the 50.5 million in the previous round.