Saturday, May 30, 2009

Election Campaign Heats Up!

Ahmadinejad's Supporters. Economist Photo

Mousavi's Supporters. IRNA Photo

The campaign for the 12 June presidential election in Iran is heating up. The incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is running for re-election. No sitting president in Islamic Republic has ever lost reelection to the second term. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad’s strongest challenger, wants to break that tradition and defeat Ahmadinejad.

There are 46 million registered voters for the 12 June election. The outcome would most likely depend on the actual turnout. If more than 30 million voters participate in the election, as it increasingly seems likely, then the election will be expected to go to a second round, scheduled for 19 June, for a likely faceoff between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. A low turnout would favor Ahmadinejad who can count on some 10-13 million votes.

Mousavi introduced official campaign color to the Iranian presidential campaigns, picking green worn by his supporters. Ahmadinejd is countering the move by having his supporters wearing Iran’s Tricolors.

There are two other candidates on the ballot: Mehdi Karrubi, a reformist cleric and Mohsen Rezaie, a former IRGC commander. Their chances of entering into the second round look increasingly dim.

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