December 6 2022 10:44 PM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Iran press voices concern over presidential poll turnout

Iranian newspapers on Sunday voiced concerns about the potential turnout for next month’s presidential poll, a day after candidate registration ended with several heavyweights joining the race. (Photo
Iranian newspapers on Sunday voiced concerns about the potential turnout for next month’s presidential poll, a day after candidate registration ended with several heavyweights joining the race. (Photo: Pexels)
TEHRAN — Iranian newspapers on Sunday voiced concerns about the potential turnout for next month’s presidential poll, a day after candidate registration ended with several heavyweights joining the race.اضافة اعلان

The reformist press was particularly worried, arguing that a low turnout would favor the conservative camp as in legislative elections last year.

On the streets of Tehran, residents openly said they have more important everyday matters to contend with.

“Everything has become more expensive, the rent, food, chicken, meat... We are renters with no income. Who should we vote for? Who can we trust?” asked homemaker Fatemeh in Khorassan square.

According to the election committee, close to 600 hopefuls including 40 women have registered for the June 18 vote to elect a successor to moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who is constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term.

But only a handful will be allowed to run after vetting by the Guardian Council, a conservative-dominated, unelected body in charge of overseeing elections.

According to the reformist Shargh daily, “various polls” show that “more than half” of eligible voters are expected to abstain.

The election is already widely expected to be a showdown between conservative Ali Larijani, a former parliament speaker, and ultraconservative judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi.

A record 57 percent of Iranian voters stayed away from the February 2020 legislative elections.

The government-run Iran daily on Sunday called for authorities to “guarantee the presence of candidates from (different) political orientations” to increase turnout.

It warned that Guardian Council disqualifications run a risk of fueling public “frustration” when the Islamic republic needs high voter participation.

But Massoud, a tradesman in southern Tehran, suggested the mood is already beyond repair. “No president has managed to do his job as he should have. The situation is just getting worse by the day,” he said.

The ultraconservative daily Javan called the election “more important” than previous polls due to the economic and social crises and the ongoing talks between Iran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

It also called for a big turnout to show “strong support for the system”.

However, reformist publication Etemad, quoting analysts, voiced “concern” over voter confidence at a time of “economic suffering and political discontent”.

Read more Region & World