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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani registered to run for a second presidential term on Friday, vowing to continue his work towards “more freedom and peace” and improving the economy. Iranians have mixed feelings about his first term, however, putting his re-election in question. Rouhani’s 2013 win was a turning point for those looking for political, economic and social change. While he has been lauded for many measures, including the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, a number of citizens they say have yet to feel benefits from his policies. This is a feeling that has been amplified by economic inequality and growing unemployment in the country.
Since candidacy registration opened last week, more than 1,600 have entered the race for president, promising to pick up where they believe Rouhani has fallen short. But not everyone will make the cut. Once registration closes, the country’s Guardian Council will vet applicants before announcing the finalists by April 27.
At least 130 women have added their names to the long list of presidential hopefuls, but historically, women and dissidents have routinely been disqualified. Among the well-known people to run are Ebrahim Raisi, an influential Shia leader close with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hamid Baghaei, a deputy of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who himself is in the running.
In this episode of The Stream, Iranians share the conversations people are having ahead of election day on May 19.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Negar Mortazavi @NegarMortazavi
Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh @hamid3663
Editor-in-Chief, Mehr News Agency
Sadegh Zibakalam @sadeghzibakalam
Professor of Political Science, University of Tehran
Setareh Sadeqi @leelako
PhD candidate, University of Tehran
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