Candidates for Iran’s next president are vying for approval in the final two weeks of campaigning, but public discontent over the final list of nominees and widespread apathy among potential voters suggests election day will be a muted affair.
Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative and Iran’s chief justice, is favourite to win the June 18 election among seven candidates approved by Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council, which reports to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Four other approved candidates are conservatives. Only two approved nominees hold reformist or moderate leanings, and neither have a particularly large public following.
Millions of Iranians are living in poverty amid high inflation, currency devaluation and double-digit unemployment, driven by US sanctions that were re-imposed soon after then-US President Donald Trump walked away from a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran. But as Iran indirectly negotiates with the administration of US President Joe Biden to resurrect the accord and have Washington drop the sanctions, many people in Iran appear to consider the election a foregone conclusion in Raisi’s favour. A poll that was conducted after the announcement of the final list of presidential candidates predicted a low turnout. And a coalition of activists, including political prisoners, has for weeks called for people to boycott the election.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the issues uppermost in the minds of Iranians and the mood in Iran as election day nears.
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