Thursday, May 19, 2005

Poll Results: Rafsanjani Strong, Qalibaf Fading, Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad Up To 4th Place

Description of Selected News: "72% of poll respondents expect good turnout in presidential election

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- According to a public opinion poll conducted by the Mehr News Agency earlier this month, 55.43 percent of eligible voters will definitely participate in Iran’s June 17 presidential election, 24.36 percent will not vote, and 20.21 percent have not yet decided.

In the poll, which was conducted on the sidelines of the 18th Tehran International Book Fair that was held from May 4 to 14, 25.05 percent of respondents said they would vote for Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, with former science minister Mostafa Moin receiving the support of 22.61%, former national police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf at 16.86%, and Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad at 14.52%.

Some 65.18 percent said they had not yet decided on a candidate.

Ali Larijani, the former director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) television network, stood at 10.53% in the poll, with former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi at 5.36%, Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii at 2.83%, and Vice President Mohsen Mehralizadeh at 2.24%.

49.14 percent of participants said they had voted in all the previous elections in which they were eligible to vote, 39.09% had only participated in some elections, 7.59% had never voted before, while another 4.17% had just become eligible to vote.

The voting age is 15 in Iran.

42.80 percent of respondents cited improving the current situation and developing the country as the main reasons for their decision to take part in the election, 25% said they are seeking improved social and civil rights, 14.94% view voting as a religious duty, 10.60% want to sustain reforms, and 6.66% say they intend to resist foreign threats with their vote.

65.94 percent announced they would not vote for President Mohammad Khatami if the Constitution allowed him to run for a third consecutive term, while 34.06% said they would. On the main priority of the next president, 69.31 percent said it should be “creating job opportunities, fighting poverty, and dealing with youth affairs”, 12.72% favor “increasing social order and security and maintaining the country’s independence and territorial integrity”, 12.04% on “improving the civil rights situation, including the rights of women, children, and religious and ethnic minorities” and 5.90% want the next president to prioritize “establishing extensive cooperation with foreign governments and international organizations.”

According to the poll, the most popular parties and groupings are the Islamic Iran Coalition for Development (Abadgaran) with 20.97 percent support, independent candidates at 15.08%, the Islamic Iran Participation Party and the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization at 12.43%, the Servants of Construction Party at 12.05%, the Coordination Council for the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee at 5.50% and the Association of Combatant Clerics at 4.36%.

55.13 percent of participants say they believe the current candidates will be unable to solve the people’s problems while 44.87% said they thought at leat one candidate could.

Some 72% of respondents said they expect an average or above average turnout.

1069 people participated in the poll, 69.10% of whom were male and 30.90% female.

14.80% of participants were between 15 and 20 years old, 44.75% were between 20 and 25, 33.89% were between 25 to 40, and 6.56% were over 40."