News ID: 128592
Publish Date : 21 June 2024 - 22:18
Second Debate

Candidates Outline Economic Agendas /Health, Education Take Center Stage

TEHRAN — In the second live debate on national television, six presidential candidates on Thursday discussed Iran’s economic problems ahead of the country’s June 28 election following a helicopter crash last month in which President Ebrahim Raisi and seven others lost their lives.
It was the second of five debates planned in the days before the vote in a shortened campaign to replace President Raisi.
Like the first debate, the second one also related to economics with the candidates discussing their proposals for Iran’s economy which is fighting sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations.
The candidates also discussed inflation, the budget deficit, fuel consumption subsidies and education. They all promised to try to get the sanctions lifted and to introduce reforms.
“Negotiation is a method of struggle,” said prominent candidate Muhammad Bagher Qalibaf, 62, with regards to getting the Western sanctions on Iran lifted. 
He emphasized the destructiveness of the sanctions on the economy and said that Iranians have a right to a good life, not just an ordinary life.
Iran’s vice president, Amir Hussein Qazizadeh Hashemi, 53, said he will continue Raisi’s unfinished administration and vowed to develop the tourism industry.
Regarding the health sector and the emigration of doctors and nurses abroad, Qalibaf said there should be a fundamental change in the way health workers are paid to increase the motivation to stay.

Qalibaf’s call for more pay for health workers was repeated by the other candidates.
All the candidates said they believe the Education Ministry is the most important part of the government because “the next generation of the country is raised in this ministry.” Qalibaf said the ministry’s budget must be increased.
Masoud Pezeshkian, who is backed by pro-reform figures such as former foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zarif, thinks the economic problems can be resolved by solving party differences inside the country as well as external factors.
Campaigning for the June 28 snap presidential election has been in full swing with candidates leaving no stone unturned to impress the electorate with their plans and manifestos.
The second televised debate commenced with the remarks of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, emphasizing the virtues of discipline, and moral and ethical conduct.
As the Leader elaborated, the ethos that defines the Islamic Republic’s electoral milieu is starkly in contrast with what happens in the West, especially the political campaigns in the U.S.
The first televised debate on Monday was centered on combating inflation, fostering the private sector, stimulating production, and encouraging greater public participation in the economic sphere.
The 240-minute debate followed the same format underpinned by four distinct segments.
The second televised debate witnessed a minor change, with both voters and subject experts putting up a rigorous examination of the strategies proposed by the presidential contenders.
In the final segment of the second debate, each candidate had the opportunity to present a six-minute summary of their plans and visions for the country.
Ghazizadeh Hashemi emphasized the pivotal role of the “people and families” in his government, stressing the importance of collective work and a robust foreign policy to drive economic growth.
He also highlighted his focus on economic justice through targeted subsidy law, aiming to ensure the fair distribution of resources and opportunities within society.
Qalibaf positioned his government as a supportive shield for the people, advocating for the provision of comprehensive welfare programs to uplift the nation.
Mostafa Pourmuhammadi, a former minister who also held senior posts in the judiciary, outlined his plans to maximize the country’s existing capacities and streamline the bureaucratic system for more efficient governance.
By focusing on leveraging current resources effectively and implementing administrative reforms, he aimed to enhance governmental performance and service delivery to the public.
Alireza Zakani, the mayor of Tehran and former lawmaker, reiterated his government’s commitment to key sectors such as healthcare, education, and higher education.
Pezeshkian drew from his experience as the former health minister, highlighting his dedication to serving marginalized strata.
Saeed Jalili, a former lead nuclear negotiator and head of the country’s top security body, underscored the importance of utilizing the country’s vast and untapped potential based on principles of justice to propel the nation forward.
Each candidate’s summary revealed their unique visions and priorities for the country, ranging from economic growth and social welfare to administrative efficiency and justice, offering voters a comprehensive understanding of their proposed agendas for the future.