Jalili, Zakani, Mehr Alizadeh withdraw from election race

June 16, 2021 - 23:37

TEHRAN — In separate statements issued on Wednesday, Saeed Jalili, Alireza Zakani, and Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh withdrew from the presidential race.

Mehr Alizadeh wrote a letter to the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday morning announcing his withdrawal from the election race. He did not express any reasons, nor did he favor a candidate. 

In a message sent on Wednesday afternoon, reformist presidential contender Abdolnasser Hemmati thanked Mehr Alizadeh for his decision, saying that, with his freedom and frankness, he has played a major role and tried to be the voice of the silent majority in the competition.

“Now that you have announced your withdrawal, you have made my responsibility heavier,” Hemmati said. 

Alireza Zakani was the next presidential candidate who announced his withdrawal from the election race. Zakani announced his decision at a holy shrine in Chizar district, north of Tehran. 

He announced that he will quit the race in favor of “his dear brother, Mr. Raeisi.”

It had been rumored on Sunday night that Zakani has announced his withdrawal from the election campaign in a rally in Kashan, but the rumor was denied by his campaign spokesman.

In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Zakani said that he entered the race with a different ideology and plan to defend Imam Khomeini’s values. 

“The goal was the victory of Revolution Front, and now, with the good appreciation of the people, this goal can be met by my dear brother Mr. Raeisi,” he said in his tweet posted on Wednesday. 

Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi also issued a message thanking Zakani over his decision to withdraw from the election race, calling it “a responsible decision.”

With the withdrawal of these two candidates, the number of the remaining contenders in the presidential race has reached to 5. In the remaining hours to the Friday elections some other principlist candidates might withdrew candidacy.

The presidential election will be held on June 18. 

According to Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, the interior minister, the elections will be held from 7 am to 12 pm and can be extended until 2 am.

Over 59 million people are eligible to vote, of whom over 1 million are the first voters. 

“The possibility of fraudulent voting is ruled out due to the existence of offline authentication devices in the elections,” the interior minister added. 

Jalili announced his withdrawal from the race late on Wednesday in favor of Raeisi. 

He issued a statement in which he said now that a great percentage of the people in the society have been showing interest toward the candidacy of “dear brother Hojtoleslam

Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi”, now it is advisable that all those who feel the need for a “second step” by the Islamic Revolution start supporting him through their votes in the face of this “great responsibility”. 

The report of Jalili’s withdrawal surfaced after a televised speech by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in which he urged people to participate in the elections.


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