Iran schedules 2017 presidential elections early due to Ramadan

Iran has scheduled the 2017 presidential election a month early to avoid conflicting with the time when the holy month of Ramadan would fall that year, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry and the elections commission agreed to elections on May 19 instead of selecting a date in June as usual, according to the Tasnim news agency.

Ramadan, an annual period of fasting observed by Muslims worldwide, is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar and, therefore, occurs at different times each year.

It remains unclear who will challenge sitting President Hassan Rowhani, though at least five candidates from various political parties are expected to step up in the coming months.

Rowhani is currently the clear favourite, enjoying the support of the conservatives' moderate wing in addition to the reformists, though criticism about his inability to completely implement promised economic reforms could hinder his chances at winning re-election.

Last update: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 13:40

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