Sunday, May 22, 2005

6 Candidates for President - Qalibaf, Karrubi, Larijani, Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad, Rezaii

It could not be a better slate for Rafsanjani if Rafsanjani picked them himself. Qalibaf is the competition but he has Larijani, Ahmadinejad, and Rezaii to his right cutting into his strength. To Rafsanjani's left is Karrubi who has weak poll numbers in key areas. Among students where a reformist needs to pull 60 percent or better Karrubi polls 5% far behind Rafsanjani in first and in second, Qalibaf. A strong showing with students is to be expected for Qalibaf who is seen as the "Young" candidate in this race but first among students is a major coup for Rafsanjani.

Rafsanjani still only polls 25% among all voters. What I saw when I was in Iran last week was that the average man was rejecting Rafsanjani until the white-haired men would ask, "Who can handle America?" "Who can handle the Nuclear Power issue?" Then the younger men would say "Rafsanjani". As long as Israel and the US keep the pressure on Iran many people who do not really want Rafsanjani will vote for him. Depending on Western pressure Rafsanjani may not need a run-off to win.

My best guess is that we should read this slate as the Supreme Leaders Blessings on Rafsanjani to be the next President. JBOC

Guardian Council approves six candidates for presidential election:
"Guardian Council approves six candidates for presidential election
TEHRAN, May 22 (MNA) – After vetting the qualifications of 1014 candidates who registered for the presidential election, the Guardian Council on Sunday afternoon released the names of the candidates it had approved to run for the post.
The GC approved former national police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi, former IRIB TV director Ali Larijani, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad, and Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii to run in the June 17 presidential election.

According to information obtained some candidates may withdraw from the race. Therefore, the number of candidates may dwindle to three or four.

Former science minister Mostafa Moin, who was the official candidate of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP) and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization, has been rejected by the Guardian Council.

The qualifications of prominent presidential hopefuls such as Iran Physical Organization director Mohsen Mehralizadeh, GC member Reza Zavarei, Majlis deputy Ali Akbar Alami, Democratic Party leader Mostafa Kavakebian, and several others have been rejected."