FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Ahmadinejad bid for Presidency: Populistís return
Posted:Apr 13, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sprang a surprise when he registered himself as a candidate in Iran’s presidential election scheduled for May 19. After leaving the office of President in 2013 at the end of two controversial terms, the firebrand populist has been largely inactive in politics. 
 
He began as a favourite of the ayatollahs, but during his second term he had a turbulent relationship with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, who asked him not to run for President again. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s defiant return to the race shows the growing significance of hard-line politics in a charged region.
 
As successor to the mild-mannered reformist Mohammad Khatami, he toed a strident line on Israel and the U.S., refusing to meaningfully negotiate with the West over Iran’s nuclear programme despite crippling economic sanctions. This election is crucial for Iran as it is seen as a referendum on the nuclear deal it reached in 2015 with global powers.
 
President Hassan Rouhani, who championed the deal on the promise that better ties with the West would help improve Iran’s economy, is expected to seek re-election. He faces challenges from hardliners, who say Iran needs a stronger leader who can stand up to Donald Trump’s America. The rising anti-Iran rhetoric of the Trump administration, which imposed new sanctions on Tehran over a missile test, has given the hardliners a fresh handle.
 
Iran’s election is a complex process that is partially managed and partially reflects the popular will. At least 120 people have registered as candidates. The clerical Guardian Council will vet the candidates and publish the final list on April 27, removing most dissidents. Thereafter the election is expected to be free. It is not clear if Mr. Ahmadinejad intends to stay as a candidate or plans to shape the election agenda in favour of the hardliners. As of now, the most powerful conservative candidate is Ebrahim Raisi, a close ally of Ayatollah Khamenei and a clear favourite of the clerical establishment.
 
For the conservatives, this is an opportunity to reclaim the presidency — one of the three main pillars of the Iranian state, but the only one with a popular mandate — and reclaim legitimacy for their hard-line agenda. For the moderates, the challenge is to push back the strongman narrative of the conservatives and shape the agenda around economic development and incremental freedoms, as opposed to strengthening theocracy and a stand-off with the West. In 2013, Mr. Rouhani had shown the political aptitude to stitch together an alliance with moderates as well as conservatives who had fallen out with the clerical establishment, while cashing in on popular impatience with the Ahmadinejad government.
 
It is time the political climate changed. It may take greater political guile for Mr. Rouhani to withstand the hardliners’ campaign at a time when economic troubles and regional challenges remain and the U.S. is again taking a confrontationist stance towards Tehran.
 
Source: The Hindu, April 14, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Ties between India and Japan are probably at their best ever, Japanese Ambassador to India H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu told India Review & Analysis’ Nilova Roy Chaudhury, as he outlined how the two countries have moved closer. Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit
 
read-more
India has asked the Security Council to use its power of sanctions as a weapon against terrorists in Afghanistan and to give the peace process an impetus.
 
read-more
That regional cooperation in South Asia is lower than optimal levels is well accepted. It is usually ascribed to – the asymmetry in size between India and the rest, conflicts and historical political tensions, a trust deficit, limited transport connectivity, and onerous logistics, among many other factors.
 
read-more
The Indian economy is stressed and job creation has not really been happening. In fact, it has been declining in some major sectors. The worst hit has been the information technology (IT) software industry, which saw a 24% year-on-year drop in hiring.
 
read-more
  During the budget session of the legislative assembly, the Chief Minister informed the  House about state’s missing children. According to her, as many as 162 children have gone missing in the past three years.
 
read-more
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is expected to amend its constitution at the upcoming national congress.
 
read-more
India and South Korea have reviewed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) during the visit of Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu in Seoul.
 
read-more
The apprehension was justified. US President Donald Trump’s disregard for institutions and fondness for reckless rhetoric meant that his maiden appearance at the annual UN General Assembly was a closely watched affair.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive