Iran presidential candidate pulls out of race

Iran presidential candidate pulls out of race
Tue Jun 11, 2013 09:10:06

Reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Aref has dropped out of the race for Iran’s presidency.

The ex-vice president said in a Monday night statement that the decision came after receiving suggestions from former President Mohammad Khatami, who advised him to withdraw his candidacy for the June 14 presidential election in order to give the reformist camp a better chance to win.

The reformist also urged Iranians to turn out en masse in the upcoming presidential vote to create a political epic and maintain the dignity of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Earlier in the day, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel withdrew from the presidential race in favor of principlists.

In an official statement, former Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said he would continue to make efforts to help the principlist camp win the election.

The six candidates in Iran’s presidential election are Hassan Rohani, who is the president of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili, Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election after the Guardian Council vets the candidates.

Nearly 50.5 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

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