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

More from World

Islamic State storms strategic western town in Iraq counter-attack

Islamic State militants on Sunday seized parts of a strategic western town in Iraq in an apparent response to an...

Trump campaign: "We are behind"

Donald Trump's campaign manager admitted Sunday that the Republican presidential candidate is lagging behind...

Naked Trump sculpture fetches nearly 22,000 dollars at auction

A life-size street art sculpture depicting a fully naked Donald Trump has sold at auction for approximately 22,000...

Cameroon rescuers find more bodies after train crash

Two days after the derailment of a passenger train claimed more than 70 lives in Cameroon, rescuers were searching...

Journalists arrested in Burundi not from BBC, broadcaster says

Two journalists who were arrested in Burundi were "not on assignment" for the BBC, the British broadcaster told dpa...