Eighty Iranians have registered their candidacy for the country’s June 28 presidential election, which was called after the death of Ebrahim Raisi, but many may still be disqualified before campaigning begins.

– Who has applied? –

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad poses for a photo as he registers his candidacy for Iran’s upcoming presidential election on June 2, 2024 in Tehran. (AFP)

At the end of the five-day registration period on Monday, Interior Minister Ahmed Wahidi said 80 presidential candidates had submitted their candidacies.

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They include more conservative and even ultra-conservative figures than moderates or reformists, as well as middle-ranking clerics and four women.

The most prominent candidate is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who at the age of 67 wants to return to the presidency, which he held twice in a row from 2005 to 2013.

The populist politician has been associated with provocative comments about Israel and rising tensions with the West, particularly over Iran’s nuclear program.

Other senior figures in the Islamic Republic are also in the running: current parliament speaker Mohammad Baqir Al-Qalbaf, a conservative, former speaker Ali Larijani, a moderate, and Saeed Jalili, an ultra-conservative former nuclear negotiator.

As he submitted his bid on Monday, Ghaliboff said he was optimistic that if elected he could address the country’s problems, including “decreasing purchasing power, poverty, discrimination, inequality and sanctions.” .

Iran is largely under fire for its nuclear program under pressure from Western sanctions, as well as for its human rights record and military cooperation with Russia.

The list of candidates — which is not yet final — also includes Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, former central bank governor Abdul Nasser Hamti and reformist former vice president Eshaq Jahangiri.

Read this also Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ghalibov launched the presidential election.

– Can all 80 compete? –

Hopefuls must first be given the green light by the Guardian Council, an unelected body dominated by conservatives that vets all candidates for public office.

The 12-strong body of jurists, either appointed or approved by the Supreme Leader, has until June 11 to decide which candidate will be authorized to campaign for the presidency.

In the 2021 elections, the council approved only seven candidates out of 592 applicants, and rejected presidential nominations from several reformist and moderate figures.

This allowed Raisi, then a candidate of the conservative and ultra-conservative camps, to be easily elected in the first round.

Faced with limited choices, many voters rejected the 2021 election: turnout fell to just under 49 percent, the lowest rate for any presidential election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Among this year’s candidates, Ahmadinejad has already been disqualified twice, in 2017 and 2021, when Larijani and Jahangiri were also.

To be eligible under Iranian law The PresidencyCandidates must be between 40 and 75 years of age, have at least a master’s degree from a university and be loyal to the Islamic Republic.

– Can a woman be elected? –

No woman has been allowed to run for president since 1979, but in 2021 the Guardian Council ruled that it was not legally prohibited there.

A woman contested the race in 1997, but her candidacy was rejected.

Four women, all former legislators, have filed their candidacy this year.

One of them is the conservative Zehra Elahyan, who has defended making it compulsory for women to wear the niqab and supported the authorities’ response to the months-long protests that followed the death in custody of Mahi Amini in late 2022. Who is

The European Union has since banned Elahyan for “human rights violations in Iran”.

– How powerful is the president? –

Unlike many countries, the Iranian president is not the head of state, and the ultimate authority in the Islamic republic is the supreme leader — a position held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for 35 years.

But the president still has an important role in directing the government and its policies.

On Monday, Khamenei called the upcoming vote “a big deal” and urged Iranians to participate “in large numbers.”

The Islamic Republic abolished the office of Prime Minister in a constitutional referendum in 1989, 10 years after the revolution.

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