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Gentlemen, The Clock Is Ticking

Cozy at state television's studios

Cozy at state television's studios

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad was indeed given extra time on state television just hours before the official deadline for campaigning to respond to criticism that emerged during the televised debates of rival candidates.

He called them "liars," without specifying which one of "them" he meant.

With rumors swirling, the committee that monitors state television's coverage concluded that the incumbent deserved 19 minutes and 46 seconds, while the others deserved: 1 minute and 41 seconds (Mir Hossein Musavi); 1 minute and 16 seconds (Mehdi Karrubi); and 1 minute (Mohsen Rezai).

As one might expect, Ahmadinejad's rivals cried foul and rejected the offer in the waning hours of the official campaign period.

"Unfortunately, state television gave the extra time to the wrongdoer candidate who had been using the state television platform and all other state facilities to cast aspersions on his competitors," said Musavi in an open letter. "Actually, this extra time given by state television was like another his contenders."

-- Mazyar Mokfi