Iran election race narrows but fears persist of low turnout
Islam News — Iran grappled with fears of low voter turnout two days ahead of its presidential election as the race narrowed on Wednesday into a showdown between the country’s hard-line judiciary chief and moderate former Central Bank chief.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of a foreign conspiracy to undermine the vote while the country’s Interior Ministry acknowledged a startling lack of competition that was turning the election into a coronation for Khamenei’s protégé, hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi.
In an extensive televised speech, Khamenei railed against the media’s grim portrayal of the poll and tried to cajole people into voting, warning of “increased pressure” from Iran’s “enemies” if citizens stay away from the polls on Friday.
Iran’s clerical vetting body had barred a range of prominent reformists and key allies of relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani to run in this election, giving the green light to just Raisi and several low-profile candidates, mostly hard-liners with little popular support. The Guardian Council’s evisceration of any viable challengers has sparked widespread criticism and fueled calls for a boycott.
Source: AP News