July 28, 2021

reformist candidate Abdolnaser Hemmati struggles to mobilize for the presidential election

An urgent call for a useful vote and the hope that a miracle will occur in the home stretch of the electoral campaign, which ends Wednesday, June 16 the evening before the vote for the Iranian presidential election on June 18. This is all that supporters of candidate Abdolnaser Hemmati seemed to cling to on Tuesday, during a campaign rally: “Objectively, people may be right not to want to vote given the conditions in which the country is plunged. They have something to be angry about. But the election is decided in advance if they do not vote. “

In an alley of the University of Economics and Management of Tehran, Mr. Mirzaie, a young campaign coordinator of the reformist candidate (also a former governor of the central bank), did not hide his pessimism on Tuesday on the chances of his champion to contest the probable election, and announced by the polls, of the conservative candidate, Ebrahim Raïssi.

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Figure unknown to the general public, Mr. Hemmati still does not seem, in this home stretch, able to mobilize voters and catch up with the abysmal delay that separates him from the favorite of the poll. Of the two reforming candidates in the running – before the announcement of Mohsen Mehralizadeh’s withdrawal from the campaign on Wednesday morning – he was the subject of the most virulent attacks by his ultra-conservative opponents. They accuse him of defending the economic record of the current head of state, Hassan Rohani, whose presidency (2013-2021) has been hit hard by the return of the harshest American sanctions.

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Nicknamed the “Rohani weak” by these detractors, ignored by some of the figures of the reformist camp, who did not vote in favor of a candidate after the elimination of their main representatives in the presidential race, Abdolnaser Hemmati strove, two hours during, to convince the voters who had mobilized en masse for the election of Hassan Rohani. The setting – the amphitheater on a campus – and the audience – most of the national media and the international press – would amplify his message, his entourage hoped. Especially vis-à-vis the young and female electorate which it sorely lacks and who could massively abstain on Friday, the latest polls announcing a participation rate of barely 40%.

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Present, some had rightly decided not to spare him. At the opening of the press conference, the spokesperson for a “manifesto of the students of the University of Tehran”, who did not hesitate to raise the problem of freedoms in the country, coldly concluded his intervention by shaming to wonder: “Are you really a reformer? “

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