Iran fixes date for Presidential Poll

In a shocking turn of events, former Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed over the weekend when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in the mountains of East Azerbaijan province. Raisi, along with several other senior officials including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, died when the aircraft went down during poor weather conditions.

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The accident occurred as Raisi was returning from the inauguration of a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border. The former president had pledged to visit each of Iran’s 30 provinces at least once per year as part of his administration’s efforts to connect with citizens across the country.

Following the tragic incident, Iran’s government has announced that a presidential election will be held on June 28, 2024 to choose Raisi’s successor. The decision was made after a meeting between the heads of Iran’s judicial, executive, and legislative branches.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has been appointed as Acting President by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the interim period before the election. It remains unclear whether Mokhber will put his name forward as a candidate

Candidate registration will take place from May 30 to June 3, followed by a campaign period running from June 12 to 27. All prospective candidates will be vetted by the Guardian Council, a body responsible for overseeing elections in Iran.

The news of Raisi’s death has drawn a mixed international response. While Iran’s government and citizens mourn the loss of their leader, the United States has expressed a more muted reaction. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the Iranian people are “probably better off” without Raisi, citing his “reprehensible conduct” and repression of the Iranian people during his time as both a judge and president.

The accelerated timeline for the presidential election underscores the political uncertainty in Iran following this unexpected tragedy. With candidate registration opening in just over a week, the Iranian people will soon have the opportunity to choose a new leader to guide the country forward.

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