Iran votes to allow live broadcast of presidential debates

Indo Asian News Service

Tehran, April 23 (IANS) Iran's Interior Ministry said Election Campaign Monitoring Committee voted to allow the presidential debates broadcast live in the state television, local media reported.

The decision on Saturday came after strong criticism from presidential candidates and Iranian people of an earlier decision by the committee not to broadcast the debates live, Xinhua news agency reported.

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, custodian and chairman of the Shrine of Shiite Imam Reza Imam Reza Ebrahim Raisi, first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, former adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as President Mostafa Mirsalim 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. (local time) on May 18.

Iran's presidential election is slated for May 19.