One of two reformists admitted to Iran’s presidential election this week, Mohsen Mehralizadeh, withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday
Iranian media reported, leaving six hopefuls in the race for Friday’s election, which ultra-conservative chairman Ebrahim Raisi is expected to win.
Former Vice President Mehralizadeh, 64, was one of only two reformists who were allowed to run in the elections to replace President Hassan Rouhani, who has served a maximum of two consecutive terms.
ISNA colleague, who quoted a spokesperson for her campaign. The spokesman did not provide details, but said an official statement would be released “in a few hours,” ISNA said.
Mehralizadeh lagged behind in polls ahead of the elections. , the only candidate to achieve less than one percent of voter intent, according to polling institute ISPA.
His departure leaves only a reformist candidate in the running, former central bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati, 66, but the clear favorite is Raisi, who is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after disqualifying several politicians as top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
While the elections are taking place while Tehran is in talks with world powers aimed at salvaging a groundbreaking 2015 nuclear deal and in the context of popular dissatisfaction over a severe economic and social crisis in the sanctioned country. With few polls available, abstentions could top the 57 percent record seen in last year’s general election.