Presidential hopeful Saeed Jalili

Paydari Party Endorses Saeed Jalili Amid Hardliner Struggle in Iran’s Presidential Race

Monday, 06/24/2024

The Paydari party, a bastion of ultraconservatism in Iran, announced its support for Saeed Jalili in the upcoming presidential election on June 28.

The endorsement from the party, known as Steadfastness, highlights the division among the five hardliner candidates who are locked in a struggle over who should withdraw in favor of a unified conservative front.

Saeed Jalili, the Supreme Leader’s representative at the Supreme National Security Council, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, and Vice President Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi are all conservative contenders in the upcoming election.

If they do not agree to propose a consensus candidate, they risk losing in an election that many believe is merely a formality, with the winner already predetermined by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Originating during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Paydari has continued to exert influence over Iranian politics. Known for its opposition to the nuclear deal (JCPOA) with world powers, the party's alignment with Jalili, a figure equally critical of the agreement, signals a continuing hardline stance that resonates with the more conservative elements of Iranian society.

As the hardliners fail to consolidate support, the fracturing may offer an unexpected advantage to the only more reformist candidate, Masoud Pezeshkian.

The elections on June 28 come in the wake of the sudden death of Ebrahim Raisi who died in a freak helicopter crash last month. Turnout is expected to be an all time low as the results are already deemed predetermined by the supreme leader.

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