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Iranian conservative coalition at risk of collapse

As Iran approaches its May 19 presidential vote, conservative candidates continue to show no indication of being ready to withdraw in favor of the leading contender of the camp.
Men stand in line to vote during the Iranian presidential election at a mosque in Qom, 120 km (74.6 miles) south of Tehran June 14, 2013. Millions of Iranians voted to choose a new president on Friday, urged by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to turn out in force to discredit suggestions by arch foe the United States that the election would be unfair. REUTERS/Fars News/Mohammad Akhlagi  (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ON

In Iran, the conservative camp continues to go through a rough patch as its presidential candidates continue to appear unwilling to withdraw in favor of a contender who, according to the camp, has the greatest chance of defeating incumbent moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Ahead of the May 19 presidential elections, conservatives have tried to put aside their disagreements and form a coalition under the name Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, known by its Persian acronym, JAMNA. They have held two summits in which many names were brought up for nomination in the elections. JAMNA also held a primary of sorts, decreasing the conservative camp’s candidates to five individuals: Ebrahim Raisi, custodian of the holy shrine of the eighth Shiite imam; Alireza Zakani, a former hard-line parliament member; Mehrdad Bazrpash, who served as an official under the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the Tehran mayor; and Hamid Reza Haji Babaie, the minister of education under Ahmadinejad.

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