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Iran begins registration for presidential candidates ahead of June 28 elections after Raisi's death

Ebrahim Raisi was once seen as a possible successor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but his untimely demise triggered a race among hardliners to become the next leader. Iran has announced snap presidential elections on June 28.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Tehran Published on: May 30, 2024 14:55 IST
Iranians voting in the runoff parliamentary elections in
Image Source : REUTERS Iranians voting in the runoff parliamentary elections in early May.

Tehran: Days after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's untimely death in a tragic helicopter crash, Tehran on Thursday began the registration of candidates for an early election next month, according to Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi. Once seen as a possible successor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi's sudden death has triggered a race among hardliners to influence the selection of Iran's next leader.

After the five-day registration period, the Guardian Council, which oversees elections and legislation, will vet the candidates running for the presidency. "The vetting process will be seven days and then qualified candidates will have almost two weeks for the election campaign," Vahidi told state TV.  

The Guardian Council will publish the list of qualified candidates on June 11. Moderate politicians have accused the 12-member hardline Guardian Council of disqualifying rivals to hardline candidates, who are expected to dominate the upcoming presidential race.

Turnout may be hit by restricted choice on the ballot and rising discontent over an array of political, social and economic crises. Within Iran's complex mix of clerical rulers and elected officials, Khamenei has the final say on all state matters such as nuclear and foreign policies. But the elected president will be in charge of tackling worsening economic hardship.

The registration of candidates could include Parviz Fattah, a former Guards member who heads an investment fund linked to the leader, and Saeed Jalili, a former chief nuclear negotiator who in 2001 ran Khamenei's office for four years, insiders said. Interim President Mohammad Mokhber and former parliament speaker and a Khamenei adviser, Ali Larijani, have also been mentioned in Iranian media as possible candidates. Larijani was barred from standing in the 2021 presidential race. Several low-key moderate politicians are likely to enter the race.

Iran has announced snap presidential elections on June 28 to replace Raisi in the wake of his death. Monday marked the first day for Iran's newly elected parliament, following a March election that saw the country's lowest turnout since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Of those elected to the 290-seat body, hard-liners hold over 230 seats, according to an Associated Press survey.

Iran's parliament plays a secondary role in governing the country, though it can intensify pressure on a presidential administration when deciding on the annual budget and other important bills. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 85, has the final say in all important state matters.

(Reuters)

ALSO READ | UN holds tribute for late Iranian leader Ebrahim Raisi, US to boycott event

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