Moscow: Iranian presidential candidate Alireza Zakani, who is the head of the parliament’s research center, announced on Wednesday his withdrawal from the race, pledging his vote to the frontrunner, top judge Ebrahim Raeisi.
Zakani is the second candidate to quit the presidential race as Mohsen Mehralizadeh, a former governor of the Isfahan province, announced his withdrawal earlier on Wednesday.
“Given the high approval rate of Raeisi, I consider him worthy and will vote for him myself. I hope that with his election there will be serious changes in the country,” Zakani said, as quoted by the IRIB broadcaster.
In a joint statement released earlier in the day, some 210 out of 290 members of the Iranian parliament called on the other Conservative candidates to follow suit and give up their bids for Raeisi, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.
Later in the day, another conservative candidate, former head of the National Security Council Saeed Jalili, also announced the withdrawal of his candidacy in favor of Raeisi, the IRIB said.
The vote will take place on June 18. Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani cannot run for the post as he is now completing his second term, the maximum permitted under Iranian law.
Aside from Raeisi, the remaining presidential candidates include Central Bank chief Abdolnaser Hemmati, lawmaker Sayyid Ghazizadeh, and Mohsen Rezaee, the head of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council. (Sputnik)