Spotlight on Iranian presidential race heavyweights as scrutiny begins
Tehran, Iran | XINHUA |
Iran’s Constitutional Council, which oversees the country’s elections, on Sunday began the process of verifying the large number of registered presidential hopefuls, a few of whom would qualify, with heavyweights already in the spotlight.
As expected, the verifier will publish the names of qualified candidates by May 27. Candidates will have 20 days to campaign before election day June 18.
The five-day registration process ended on Saturday and 592 prospects have registered to officially participate in the upcoming race.
Of the total number of registered hopefuls, 552 are men and 40 are women, the official IRNA news agency said, citing Jamal Orf, head of the election headquarters in Iran.
On the last day of registration, three high-level politicians, Iranian Judicial Chief Ebrahim Raisi, First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri and former Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, officially registered for the campaign.
Throughout the registration process, other prominent figures include Saeed Jalili, a former nuclear negotiator under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of the Iranian Opportunity Discernment Council, and Rostam Qassemi, Hossein Dehqan and Saeed Mohammad, all former commanders of Islam. Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Of those potential candidates, four have run for president in previous rounds, with the most attempts going to Rezaei, this time being his fourth straight effort. The other three are Raisi, Jahangiri and Jalili.
Raisi and Jahangiri were candidates in the 2017 presidential election, where the former lost the race and the latter stepped down in favor of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani. Jalili’s failed attempt dates back to 2013, when he also lost the race to Rouhani.
As with previous election cycles, several eccentric figures have also registered. One man said he came to save mankind from extinction within the next 20 years; a 74-year-old man claimed that if elected president he would destroy all weapons of mass destruction in the world, and another man said he would dissolve the foreign ministry if elected, according to the Mehr news agency.
To exclude a large number of people who register every four years as potential candidates with very basic qualifications or without qualifications, the Constitutional Council approved on May 5 an amendment aimed at further clarifying the criteria on the basis of which it reviews potential candidates, according to the Council’s official website.
Orf, who heads the election headquarters at the Home Office, said the lower number of registrants for this year’s election compared to previous votes proved that the council’s decision to clarify the criteria was effective in bringing greater rationality to the general atmosphere of the registration process, IRNA wrote.
In the 12th and 11th elections, the number of registered candidates stood at 1,636 and 686 respectively, the Orf said.
According to the amended criteria, applicants must be between 40 and 70 years of age, hold at least a master’s degree or its equivalent, have at least four years’ professional experience in managerial positions and have no criminal record.
In addition, the country’s main military commanders with the status of major general and above are also allowed to stand.
On Sunday, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee, spokesman for the Constitutional Council, said that in order for hopefuls to qualify as presidential candidates, they must get at least seven votes in favor of the 12-member monitoring body, a reported IRNA.
Analysts say the main chances of winning the vote could be the number one choices of the Principlists and Reformists, the two main rival political camps in the country.
After registering his name at the election seat, Raisi, the main candidate of the principlist camp, said he had come to fight corruption, incompetence and aristocracy, and that he would run in as an “independent” candidate – and not as a principlist, according to IRNA. .
He added that he had focused on the livelihoods and problems of the population, unemployment, high prices and the economic situation of the country. In a tweet on Sunday, Raisi said interactions with all countries, especially neighbors, would be his administration’s primary foreign policy if elected.
Jahangiri, the reformist political camp’s preferred potential candidate, is believed to be one of Raisi’s main rivals on election day, a role Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had previously thought to play, which announced on Wednesday. that he would not register.
In a speech to reporters after his recording, Jahangiri spoke about the problems the Iranian people have faced in recent years, saying they need real breakthroughs in their life.
He also stressed the need to remove US sanctions and boost sustainable economic growth with a view to creating jobs and redistributing wealth more equitably, the Tasnim news agency wrote.
After the recording, Larijani, a seasoned politician who is considered a key figure of principle, but who has been exploited as a potential ally by both sides in recent months, said there was no magic key to the country’s problems, and populist and pretending to be shows. a superman fails to be the solution, calling for greater national solidarity and unity.
Larijani said the main objective of the country’s foreign policy is to facilitate foreign relations to accelerate economic development.
According to an analysis by Iranian news site asriran.com, Raisi has the best chance of winning in the election, predicting that after the vetting process, qualified principlist candidates will step down in his favor.
Larijani is believed to be able to get votes from supporters of both the Principlists and Reformers and a supporter of diplomacy and negotiations, the website added.