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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 Iranian Presidential Election Friday May 19,2017

The Iranian Presidential Election is scheduled to be held on Friday May 19,2017

About 55 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the elections, and they will be able to do that in any one of 63,000 polling stations, which will be monitored by 1.5 million staffers, 70,00 monitors and a scalable force of 350,000 security personnel. Candidates can assign a monitor of their choice to observe proceeding at each station.

Presidential Candidates

Incumbent Reformist President Rouhani, recognisable by his white turban. Rouhani is a Muslim scholar and lawyer with strong religious and revolutionary credentials, having preached against the Shah, changed his name to avoid detection by the secret services, and joined parliament after the revolution.
Rouhani was involved in secret negotiations with the US over the Iran Contra deal in the 1980s and in the P5+1 negotiations, which were successfully concluded during his presidency.
His Principlist challenger Ebrahim Raisi (recognisable by his black turban). Raisi is also a Muslim scholar and seen to be very close to the current Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Raisi was younger than Rouhani at the outset of the Iranian revolution, but he rose quickly through the ranks and has most recently worked as Iran's prosecutor general.
Raisi has also been named custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, which is in charge of the Imam Reza shrine, the holiest shrine in Iran that controls the largest assets of any charity in the Muslim world.
Up until Monday, there were two other strong candidates in the race, Reformist First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Principlist mayor of Tehran Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf.
The two candidates had strong showings during the televised debates and on the campaign trail, but they were seen as placeholder candidates and both had withdrawn by Tuesday evening.
Jahangiri announced his full support for Rouhani and asked all those who supported him to vote for him as well, while Ghalibaf threw his support behind Raisi and asked his supporters to do the same.

What is the difference between a Reformist and a Principlist?

There are two main blocs in the Iranian political spectrum, Reformist and Principlist. Both, however, have their primary loyalty to the Islamic Revolution and the established order of Iran.
Reformists are the more liberal side, as they believe in opening Iran up to the world, liberalisng economic policy, encouraging foreign investment in the country, and focusing on the rights of Iranian citizens. By extension, this side of the political spectrum is very much pro the nuclear deal and the improvements it can bring to Iran and its people.
Principlists are the conservatives of Iranian politics.They are not in favour of liberalisation or opening up to the outside world, which puts them on the opposite side with regards to the nuclear deal as well, which they think was not the right instrument for Iran to sign on to, but have reluctantly agreed to support it.

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