‘Decline of political ethics in presidential debates noticeable’

June 7, 2021 - 18:24

TEHRAN - The first televised presidential debate was a manifestation of the decline of ethics, says head of the Foundation for the Iranians’ Hope.

“The first election debate was the decline of ethics,” Mohammad Reza Aref told ISNA in an interview published on Monday.

“What has obsessed the minds more than anything else in the recent debates is the decline of political ethics,” Aref added.

He said in the Islamic Republic system republicanism was going to be governed by ethics. However, Aref said, when personal tastes cast shadow over republicanism, Islamic and humane ethics are sidelined.

The former first vice president said if the qualifications of candidates were studied with due care the candidates would have acted ethically, humanely and observed the codes of conduct based on Islamic teachings.

Also, in series of tweets on Tuesday, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri described as “strange” debates among presidential candidates both in terms of planning and implementation.

He also said if a real understanding of the country’s situation and solutions for problems are important, the TV should provide a situation for ministers and experts to provide answers to remarks by certain candidates.

Jahangiri said seven candidates were asked questions about the country’s economic situation but no question was asked about the “cruel sanctions” and their effects on the economy and also the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic on employment and people’s livelihood.

 ‘Candidates manifested little command in proposing solutions’

Jamshid Ansari, the vice president and chief of the Administrative Recruitment Organization, has also assessed the first televised debates between presidential contenders as weak, saying the candidates had little command of presenting solutions for the country’s problems.

“What was more conspicuous in the Saturday debates was the little command of candidates for presenting solutions for the country’s issues and problems,” Ansari tweeted on Sunday morning.

Ansari said the candidates mostly pointed to issues that people are feeling them without presenting a “strategy” and “clear plan”.  The vice president said repetition of problems will not prove effective.  

The first televised debate between the seven presidential candidates was held on Saturday afternoon. Among the candidates five – namely Mohsen Rezaei, Alireza Zakani, Saeed Jalili and Qazizadeh Hashemi and Ebrahim Raeisi - mostly pointed their finger at Nasser Hemmati, the central banker, for the problems. However, the government dismissed Hemmati last week and replaced him with his deputy Akbar Komeijani.

Only Hemmati and Mohsen Mehr Ali Zadeh, a pro-reform candidate, did not trade accusations against each other.

Most analysts say that the Saturday debates had no winner. Rezaei accused Hemmati as a candidate for the Rouhani administration, a claim refuted strongly by Hemmati.


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