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Monday, 15 May 2017

What we’re tracking this week

An International Labor Organization delegation arrived in Cairo on Saturday for talks with government officials on upcoming legislative reform, especially the new Labor Act currently before the House of Representatives.

House committee gives preliminary nod to Daba’a nuke plant: The House of Representatives’ Energy Committee gave a preliminary nod to the Daba’a nuclear power plant agreement with Russia’s Rosatom on Sunday, MP Hamada Ghallab tells Al Mal. The committee will deliberate on the agreement over the next few days before moving it over to a plenary session for a vote.

Iranians go to the polls to elect a new president on Friday. The contest so far sees incumbent Hassan Rouhani enjoying a lead over both hardliner Ebrahim Raisi (backed by the powerful Revolutionary Guard) and conservative Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. There will be a runoff on Friday, 26 May if no candidate wins a majority this coming Friday. Reuters explains that the Guard is backing Raisi because it’s looking ahead to the real seat of power — Supreme Leader — but it seems Rouhani still enjoys a commanding lead at the polls. He also has the backing of Mohamed Khatami, the high-profile reformist and “figured head of the reform movement” who was president from 1997 to 2005, the Financial Times reports. The downside: There are signs voter turnout could be low, a warning sign for any reforming candidate in Iran. The Los Angeles Times has a primer on the elections, and the BBC has profiles of six of the 12 candidates.

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