Alireza Zakani became the second candidate to withdraw from the Iranian presidential race on Wednesday, saying he has pulled out of the competition in favor of Ebrahim Raeisi.
The number of candidates running to take office at the Pasteur Street of Tehran was reduced to five on Wednesday after Zakani withdrew candidacy, Tasnim news agency reported.
His decision to drop out of the race was announced hours after the withdrawal of another rival, Mohsen Mehralizadeh.
Zakani, 55, said he has decided to pull out of the race in favor of Ebrahim Raeisi, the incumbent Judiciary Chief of Iran.
Zakani pointed to the huge public support for Raeisi, saying he considers the cleric as the best choice for the post of president and that he will vote for the top judge.
He also expressed hope that the election of Raeisi would usher in fundamental reforms in Iran.
Alireza Zakani represented Tehran in the Parliament for several terms. He was an outspoken critic of the administration of President Hassan Rouhani in three rounds of televised debates.
The presidential election will be held on Friday with five candidates remaining, namely Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaee, Ebrahim Raeisi, Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, and Abdolnasser Hemmati.
The number of eligible voters in the upcoming election stands at more than 59,310,000. Authorities say Iranian expatriates can cast their ballots in the June 18 presidential election in more than 230 polling stations in foreign countries.
Source: Iranian media