Disqualified candidates file protests as Iran approves mostly hardliners

Disqualified candidates file protests as Iran approves mostly hardliners

CANDIDATES who were disqualified to run from the upcoming presidential race in Iran filed protests as hardliners dominated the list of approved aspirants.

Iran’s Guardian Council, a powerful 12-member body assigned with overseeing elections and legislation, approved only six individuals out of 80 initial candidates.

Four women who were part of the list were not also approved to run.

The list was dominated by hardline candidates. Among them were parliamentary speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a hardline conservative known to oppose Western countries, and also a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Another hardline conservative, former chief nuclear negotiator and former head of the Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili will run the race.

Both Qalibaf and Jalili supported late President Ebrahim Raisi when he ran for the post in 2021. Competition is expected to be fierce between the two hardliners.

Other hardliner candidates on the list include Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, Alireza Zakani, and Mostafa Pour Mohammad.

Reformist lawmaker and former parliament deputy speaker Masoud Pezeshkian was the only pro-reform politician approved on the list of final candidates. The reformist lawmaker, who seeks dialogue with Western powers, is expected to have a low chance of winning the race.

Meanwhile, three presidential candidates who were banned from running criticized the Guardian Council’s decisions and asked for an explanation as to the basis of their disqualification.

Among those who filed protests were former Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and two former senior officials Es’haq Jahangiri and Abbas Akhoundi.

Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was also removed from the list, has not stated his own disqualification. Ahmadinejad, a vocal critic of the regime and considered one of the strongest contenders, promised major changes if elected president.

The candidate who will win the presidential race on the 28th of June will replace late President Ebrahim Raisi who died from a tragic helicopter crash last month.

The election will take place a few months after the parliamentary and assembly of experts elections were held in March. The elections witnessed the lowest voter participation not seen since the founding of Iran in 1979.


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