Iran’s presidential candidates, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf have respectively pledged to effectually tackle corruption and poverty.
At election campaigns heat up in the country, Aqa-Mirsalim and Qalibaf used their air time on state television on Thursday to elaborate on their agendas.
Speaking at a talk show, Aqa-Mirsalim said administrative organizations should work to “prevent corruption from even taking shape.”
In doing so, they should take heed of public warnings and act decisively every time they come across any sign of emerging corruption, he noted.
Also a former minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Mirsalim said “the strength of religious democracy” lies in any government’s recognition of “fair and constructive criticism” by the minority.
He said, upon potential election, he would even encourage such criticism on the part of the press and media.
Iran’s state TV also aired recorded footage, in which Qalibaf criticized the economic performances of the administration of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.
Qalibaf, who is the Tehran mayor, said there are many poor people with low incomes in a country rich in both natural and human resources.
“Ten percent of our population lives in abject poverty and faces challenges in handling the most elementary of issues,” he said. “This is while, we are a rich country enjoying lavish resources and capacities.”
“We have made plans to salvage the economy by the agency of the very people. The country has the capacity [for this to happen], but this cannot come about through traditional, conservative and rent-seeking-based management styles,” Qlibaf asserted.
The mayor said he plans to “democratize” the economy, root out rent-seeking and bring in new-generation management and innovative approaches.
Rouhani, Ebrahim Raeisi, the current custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in Mashhad, incumbent First Vice President Is-haq Jahangiri, and former vice president and minister Mostafa Hashemi-Taba also contest the elections.
The elections are to be held on May 19. Some 55 million Iranians are eligible to vote to choose a new president as well as new members of the city and village councils, the elections for which will fall on the same day.