Iran's president resisters to run in May elections

"The people's vote will determine the country's fate".

Rouhani also referred to his government's "successful" management of economic issues and said that he was able to curb the inflation, raise the rate of economic growth, stop depression and, to some extent, solve unemployment problem.

He said he would continue his past promise to "salvage the economy" and "engage constructively" with the world. Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013 pushing forward Iran's nuclear program despite worldwide opposition.

Human rights campaigners say there have been few, if any, moves to bring about greater social freedoms as Rouhani's main focus has been boosting the sanctions-damaged economy.

Almost 50.5 million Iranians were eligible to vote in the 11th presidential election, and the voter turnout in the polls stood at 72.7 percent.

He also registered on Friday.

In March 2016, he was appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to head Astan Qods Razavi, a charitable foundation overseeing the Imam Reza shrine, as well as a huge business conglomerate with interests in everything from IT and banking to construction and agriculture.

Earlier, ex-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Former Minister of Industry Mostafa Hashemitaba, former Oil Minister Seyed Mohammad Kharazi and Ebrahim Raeesi, the chief custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, have registered their candidacies. Raisi told reporters at the interior ministry where registration was being held.

Ahmadinejad made the comments at a Wednesday news conference after stunning election officials by registering.

The hardline Guardian Council, which vets candidates before they stand, has prevented other influential figures from running in previous elections. Guardian Council will start vetting the candidates as of April 16. Another favorite in the election campaign is Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate from the alliance of conservative parties, the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces. The presidential candidates can enroll for presidential elections on April 11-16.

Rouhani has on several occasions called for massive turnout in the elections slated for May 19.

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