Who are the candidates?

10 June 2005

From the eight candidates running in the Iranian presidential elction on 17th of June, only the first three are considered major figures.

Rafsanjani: With a new watchword, "Democratic Development", the veteran politician stepped into the presidential campaign, putting an end to all the hot debates around his presense/abscense. Although open-minded compared with neo-cons and traditional right wingers; he doesn't believe in democracy and freedom of speech in it's modern form. Also Iran suffered several economic crises (including a 50% percent inflation rate in 1995) during his administration.

Moein: Having entered the scene with Ayatollah Khamenei's extra-legal verdict, Moein is probably the ugly duckling of elections turning white on 17th of June. His speeches have gradually turned radical, from promising to appoint a vice-president for Human Rights to "criticizing extra-legal verdicts", to inviting the marginalized nationalist groups to join his camp. His authority if he were to be president is something doubted.

Qalibaf: Former head of Iranian Police Force with a brilliant administrative and unclear political background. His stylish ads are noticeable all over Tehran, trying to magnetize the vote of youth. His military background (a political party affiliated with Revolutionary Guards supports him) and arrests of several bloggers during his administration of the Police Force are an Achilles heel for him.

Larijani: Once the most hopeful candidate of conservative forces whose presence has been overshadowed by Baqer Qalibaf’s entrance. Former Minister of Culture and head of Iran's National TV he is unpopular among reformists for propagandizing against them. He has entered the election with the watchword: “Fresh Air with Government of Hope”, vowing to reinforce Iranian identity and introducing an efficient cabinet.

Rezaei: Former head of the Revolutionary Guards. His efforts to posses a role in political arrangements were unsuccessful; therefore he continued his political career under the label of “Third Force”, a label commonly used by many political figures that do not belong to two main political orientations. He is a featherweight figure among conservatives with a very low chance of winning the election. He believes current political arrangement of power in country must be changed. Sounds unreal.

Mehr Alizadeh: Vice President with a proper administrative background as industrial manager and governor of Khorasan, Iran’s largest province. He’s the head of Physical Education Department and Iran’s recent qualification for Soccer World Cup is considered a positive point for him. He is the most unlikely candidate to win the election.

Ahmadi Nejhad: Mayor of Tehran, with fundamentalist view in politics; establishing an Islamic state (probably not relying on people’s vote and base on strict observation of Islamic rules) and justice. He tries to resemble the early administrators of Islamic Republic who emphasized on defending the rights of the lower classes, self-reliance and Islamizing the society.

From the blog Tehran Post

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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