Iran votes to allow presidential debates broadcast live

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Six qualified candidates have started their election campaigns on early hours of Friday, which will continue until 8 a.m. May 18 local time. (AFP photo)

TEHRAN (Xinhua) – Iran‘s Interior Ministry said Election Campaign Monitoring Committee voted on Saturday to allow the presidential debates broadcast live in the state television, Press TV reported.

The decision came after strong criticism from presidential candidates and Iranian people of an earlier decision by the committee not to broadcast the debates live.

Debates in the previous two presidential elections were aired live on the Iranian national television.

On Thursday, Guardian Council of Constitution, Iran’s high legislative body, released the names of six candidates for the upcoming presidential election.

The approved candidates include incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran Mayor Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, Imam Reza Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian and chairman of the Shrine of Shiite Imam Reza, the first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, Mostafa Mirsalim, former adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as president, and former vice president Mostafa Hashemitaba.

The qualified candidates started their election campaigns on early hours of Friday, which will continue until 8 a.m. May 18 local time.

Iran’s presidential election is slated for May 19.