As the time draws closer to the presidential elections, which would be held on June 18, the Iranian press expressed concern regarding the turnout of the upcoming poll. Particularly, pro-reformist media voiced concern, considering that the low level of participation would serve the conservative camp’s interests, like in the legislative elections last year.
The registration process for the presidential election was completed last Saturday. Almost 600 hopefuls, including 40 women, have completed their registration for the June 18 elections, which will decide who will become the successor of President Hassan Rouhani. However, the Guardian Council, the top vetting body in the country, will examine prospective candidates to decide whether they are eligible for joining the race. Among candidates, heavyweights, including former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will run in the presidential poll.
Sharg Daily, one of the pro-reformist media outlets, reported that various polls estimate that more than half of eligible voters would not go to the poll. In February 2020, 57% of voters in Iran did not go to the ballot box, a record in Iran’s election history for legislative elections. It is believed that the dissatisfaction of voters for economic circumstances in the country, as well as the disqualification of thousands of candidates, mostly from the reformist and the moderate campaign, had paved the way for such a situation.
Highlighting the need for a high-level turnout in the upcoming elections for the sake of the country, the government-run Iran Daily called on authorities to ensure the participation of candidates from different political orientations to prevent public frustration that could make voters stay away from ballot boxes.
Another newspaper from the ultraconservative campaign, Daily Javan, emphasized the importance of the elections highlighting that it comes at a sensitive time, considering the economic and social challenges that Iran has been going through, as well as the ongoing negotiations with global powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.