Iran: Conservatives unite to pose stronger threat to Rouhani

Source: Bloomberg

“Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf withdrew from this month’s election to support fellow conservative Ebrahim Raisi, state television reported, a decision that polls show would effectively create a two-man race with incumbent Hassan Rouhani. Qalibaf, the 55-year-old mayor of Tehran who lost to Rouhani in 2013, criticized the president’s ‘inefficient and impotent’ cabinet in a statement announcing his decision. A survey by the state-affiliated Iranian Students Polling Agency published last week showed support for Rouhani at 42 percent, Raisi on 27 percent, while Qalibaf was at 25 percent. If conservative voters unite behind Raisi, they could tip an election that just a few weeks ago, surveys suggested, was heading toward a straightforward victory for Rouhani.” (05/15/17)