The election atmosphere this time is different from previous ones, which shows the political maturity of both the people and the candidates. The candidates have no interest in putting up posters and spending a lot of money on their campaigns, and therefore they aren’t indebted to [corporations] or political groups. This austerity is very noticeable in the capital; it’s not a carnival like past elections. The manner of holding presidential elections is unique in Iran and can be a good example for Western and Eastern countries alike.
The face of the city might not show election enthusiasm, but the people are talking about their candidates … in taxis, in the metro, and even while waiting in the line for bread. Watching election programs on TV is a priority for the people, and even satellite channels [which are officially illegal in Iran] have been forced to show them, which adds to the election enthusiasm and promises a lively turnout.
Conservative candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
“Foreign media who say the Leader supports Jalili have their own agendas”
The candidates are all qualified individuals with many positive characteristics. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf’s management abilities, his revolutionary and war-time background, his youth and energy are what set him apart from the other candidates. He has shown faith in the progress of Iran and has many programs to this end.
Saeed Jalili, on the other hand, is a young revolutionary diplomat, and his experience in nuclear negotiations as well as in the programs broadcast on state TV show he is well-versed in the Islamic Revolution dialogue. He is reminiscent of the early revolution officials.
I believe Iran can experience a bright future with either of these candidates, and I still haven’t decided which of the two I will vote for.
Many people say the Leader supports Jalili. But he has repeatedly said that nobody knows who his choice is. Such claims are made by foreign media outlets pursuing their own agendas. If the candidate who they claim is the Leader’s favourite wins, they will accuse the Leader and the establishment of meddling with the elections. And if a candidate doesn’t win, they will say his loss was the Leader’s fault and claim it shows the rift between the people and the Leader.