The six Iranian candidates who are running for president started the second round of nationally televised debates on Friday.
The second round of the live debate started on Friday evening as the previous showdown saw moments of serious debates between Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri.
Three of the candidates categorized as “reformists” include President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, and Mostafa Hashemitaba.
The other three, known as belonging to the “principlist” political faction, include Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, the chief custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim.
Given equal time to speak, each of the six candidates is planned to expound on their plans during the debate for dealing with the country’s major cultural and political agenda, including domestic and foreign policies, after taking the office.
The first debate raged occasionally in direct talks between Mr. Qalibaf and Mr. Jahangiri, the critic and the proponent of President Rouhani’s administration.
The candidates have been singled out by the Guardian Council from among more than 1,600 applicants seeking the presidency.
As in the previous round, every candidate has four minutes to outline his plans, while the other five men have two minutes each to comment on the presentation. Then the candidate has five minutes to answer other candidates’ comments or criticism.
Overall, each of the candidates has been allocated over 1,100 minutes to talk about their campaign pledges in various radio and television programs aired by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
The presidential election will be held on May 19.
During the previous polls in June 2013, Rouhani garnered 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes.
The number of eligible voters in the upcoming election is estimated to be around 1.5 million higher than the 50.5 million in the previous round.