Tehran Mayor Mohamad Baqer Qalibaf on Monday announced his withdrawal from the upcoming Iranian presidential election while expressing his support to conservative candidate, cleric Ebrahim Raisi.
According to local media reports, the decision was made after the central council of the Popular Forces of the Islamic Revolution held a meeting to assess the situation ahead of Friday's election, The Tehran Times reported.
At the meeting, both Raisi and Qalibaf announced their readiness to withdraw in favour of the other. However, at the end Qalibaf gave up the bid for the presidential post and insisted that he will use all his energy for Raisi's victory in the race to unseat the "incapable" incumbent government.
"I ask all my supporters in the country to support the success of our great brother Hojatoleslam Seyed Ebrahim Raisi," Qalibaf stated in a letter published in social media.
Five candidates, including President Hassan Rouhani, are in the fray. Rouhani became thee 10th Iranian President in August 2013.
Iran elects a President for a four-year term by direct vote.
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