Iran Khamenei backs exclusion of moderate and conservative candidates from June vote | World news
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has backed the disqualification by a hard-line watchdog of leading moderate and conservative candidates seeking to run in the June presidential election, DTV reported on Thursday. ‘State.
The Guardians Council, which is reviewing the candidates, has approved seven of the 592 prospects, including extremist justice chief Ebrahim Raisi, while excluding his top rivals from the race.
Official opinion polls, including one carried out in May by Iranian state television, suggest that the voter turnout could be as low as 30%, much lower than in previous elections.
Khamenei called on Iranians to vote in the election, seen as a test of the legitimacy of the country’s religious leaders amid growing popular anger over economic hardship and restrictions on political freedoms.
“Dear Iranian nation, do not pay attention to those who argue that the vote is unnecessary… the election result lasts for years.… Take part in the elections,” Khamenei said, quoted by the television.
Activists have called for a boycott of the elections and the hashtag #NoToIslamicRepublic has been widely tweeted by Iranians inside and outside the country in recent weeks.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by William Maclean)
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