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Iranian candidate calls on young voters to help maintain status quo

Iranian candidate calls
on young voters to help 
maintain status quo

dpa
Tehran
Iranian presidential candidate Abdolnasser Hemmati has called on first-time voters to use their ballot to prevent a hardliner from taking office in upcoming elections and bringing about unwanted political change in the country.
“First-time voters in particular can play a decisive role in this regard,” Hemmati, a relative reformer, tweeted on Thursday.   A change in the tone of Iranian politics looks increasingly likely in the June 18 presidential elections. After two terms in office, moderate President Hassan Rowhani cannot run again.
The favourite is considered to be arch-conservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, the hardliners’ lead candidate and preferred choice of the establishment. Reformers fear he will adopt a radical course and plunge Iran into international isolation again.
Hemmati said the country’s 1.4 million first-time voters could guarantee the freedoms they currently enjoy and make sure hope and social diversity are not suppressed in the near future. Hemmati, the former head of the central bank, will only have a chance in the election if he is able to garner the support of protest voters, according to observers.
His critical statements are seen as an attempt to gain backing from young people and those critical of the regime.

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