Zakani, a veteran lawmaker, became the second presidential candidate to drop out of the race on Wednesday, hours after Reformist Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh announced his departure.
The announcement followed a statement signed by 210 Iranian lawmakers earlier in the day calling on the “candidates of the Revolution current” to leave the election scene in support of Raeisi, citing the “growing popular inclination” toward the senior cleric, who currently serves as Iran’s Judiciary chief.
Commenting on his dropout, Zakani also referred to the large support that Raeisi has gained among the public and said, “I view him as the best [among the candidates], and I will vote for him myself.”
“I hope with his election, fundamental reforms will be made in the country,” he added.
According to three studies by Press TV of voter inclinations, Raeisi continues to be by far the most popular candidate among voters, with over 50 percent of voter support.
Zakani’s dropout will leave five men in the presidential race, including four associated with the Principlist camp and one Reformist.
In the course of his campaigning, the 56-year-old lawmaker, who heads the Parliament’s Research Center, had pledged to form “an administration of action and reform,” cleanse the executive branch of corruption, and fight poverty.