Iranian officials: Change in method of presidential debates likely

Photo: Iranian officials: Change in method of presidential debates likely / Politics

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jun.2 /Trend F.Karimov/

Iran's Elections Headquarters has offered its proposals to the IRIB (the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) for changing the method of presidential debates, ISNA quoted Head of Iran's Elections Headquarters Solat Mortazavi as saying.

Viewpoints of experts and representatives of the candidates are being studied and an appropriate decision will be made, he added.

Meanwhile, Iran's deputy general attorney Nasser Seraj, said that representatives of the candidates were invited in order to get their viewpoints on the method of holding the debates. The result will be announced tomorrow, he said.

Eight candidates for Iran's upcoming presidential elections were left unsatisfied with the way the televised debates were held, IRIB News reported.

Yesterday, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bager Qalibaf,Secretary of Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, President of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council Hassan Rohani, lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, former First Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi held debates on live television in Iran, discussing various problems and challenges that need to be tackled by the new government.

The first episode of the debate focused on economic issues. Mr. Aref and Mr. Rezaee urged a change in the method of holding the debate.

Rezaei said he was ready to debate with economic experts and representatives of other candidates on economic issues.

Aref said for his part that people should judge about candidates. He added that this way of holding debate is insulting.

Mr. Morteza Heidari, the coordinator of the debate said that 20 different scenarios had been proposed with the cooperation of academicians and finally this method was approved by the headquarters for election campaigns.

The debate had been arranged so that it looked like a TV show. The candidates had to answer multiple-choice tests and explain their feeling about certain pictures.

The IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) says due to the high number of the candidates, it is not possible to hold face-to-face debates such as those which were held before the 2009 elections.

Iran will hold the 11th presidential election on June 14, 2013.

The voters will select the successor of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is not able to participate in the elections for the third term according to the country's constitutional laws.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election and the Guardian Council vets the candidates for qualifications.

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