Survey: Ahmadinejad's popularity rises in Iran

According to recent poll, 58.6% will vote for current president in June 12 elections, rival will get 21.9%.

Ahmadinejad shouts 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Ahmadinejad shouts 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's popularity has grown among Iranian voters, a poll conducted in Teheran, 29 other provincial capitals and 32 cities has shown. According to the results of the poll, reported by Press TV Wednesday, support for Ahmadinejad's rival, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, has remained unchanged. The survey showed that 58.6% would vote for Ahmadinejad in the June 12 presidential elections, while some 21.9% would vote for Mousavi, Press TV said, citing the pro-government Web site, Rajanews. A government survey conducted earlier this month showed that Ahmadinejad had 53.6% support, with Mousavi securing almost the same backing. According to a more recent poll, 44.8% of Teheran residents would vote for Ahmadinejad while some 29% would cast their ballots in favor of Mousavi. On Tuesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, implicitly backed Ahmadinejad. "We should elect those who have popular support and who live in a simple and modest way... are pained by the pain of the people," Khamenei said, apparently referring to the current president. "They should be close to people, be away from corruption. They should not be aristocrats themselves so to push people toward aristocracy." "I think these are important features," Khamenei told a crowd in Sanandaj, Kordestan, according to AFP. Ahmadinejad has come under criticism for his economic policies, but Khamenei blasted those critics on Tuesday. "One hears strange things... the dear candidates should be careful not to wreck public opinion and say untrue words (about one another)," he said. "I know better and more than all of these gentlemen about the country's situation. I know that many things said as criticism about the country's situation and economy are untrue. They are wrong. God willing, it is wrong." He also warned that Iranian officials "must not have lavish" lifestyles. In August last year, Khamenei told the Ahmadinejad government that it should make "plans for the next five years."