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Iran's presidential hopeful drops bid to back Raisi

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-19 02:59:20|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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by Hassan Rouhvand

TEHRAN, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The Iranian presidential hopeful, Mostafa Agha-Mirsalim, withdrew from the race to back conservative nominee Ebrahim Raisi, state IRIB TV reported on Thursday.

"Following the withdrawal of Mostafa Agha-Mirsalim, the Islamic Coalition Party (ICP) supports Raisi's bid for presidency," IRIB quoted the announcement by ICP as reading.

The ICP, to which Agha-Mirsalim is affiliated, urged the people to actively participate in the Friday vote for the presidential election.

With the few hours away from voting day, three candidates for the presidential post have withdrawn their bid, leaving the race open for three others.

On April 21, out of 1,636 registered candidates, six were qualified to compete for the four-year presidential term, including three principalists, better known as conservatives, as well as two centrists and one reformist.

On Tuesday, Iran's reformist Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, announced his withdrawal from the race in order to back incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, urging all his supporters to vote for Rouhani.

Tehran's Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a conservative candidate, said in a statement on Monday that he withdrew from the presidential race to back Raisi.