July 25, 2021

Seven presidential candidates approved in Iran

Who will succeed Hassan Rouhani in Iran? At least twenty-four hours ahead of schedule, the Iranian interior ministry on Tuesday, May 25, published the list of candidates authorized to stand in the first round of the Iranian presidential election on June 18. . This ballot should make it possible to designate the successor to the president, Hassan Rohani, a leading figure in the so-called moderate current.

In all, seven candidates were allowed to take part in the election, but the disqualification of three heavyweights and the presence among these seven of five ultraconservatives has fueled intense controversy. This choice seems to offer an avenue to victory for the head of the judicial authority, the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raïssi, who obtained 38% of the votes in 2017.

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Unsurprisingly, the candidacy of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (populist), already invalidated in 2017, was rejected, but against all expectations, that of Ali Larijani (conservative), former speaker of Parliament and currently advisor to the Supreme Guide , Ali Khamenei, was also it, as well as that of the vice-president, Eshaq Jahanguiri (reformer).

Even though the possibility of appealing was offered to him until midnight on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, Mr. Larijani posted a press release on his Twitter account in which he says he is satisfied “Of the decision of God”.

Faced with this situation, Iranian President Hassan Rohani called on Wednesday for more « concurrence ». In a televised speech he said that “The heart of elections is competition. If you remove that, you have a corpse ”. Mr. Rohani also let it be known that he had “Written to the Supreme Leader »Asking him “If he can help on this point”.

600 application files

According to the list of the Ministry of the Interior published by the official IRNA news agency, the candidates authorized to stand are, in addition to Mr. Raïssi: Amirhossein Ghazizadeh-Hachémi (ultraconservative), the governor of the central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati ( reformer), Saïd Jalili, former secretary general of the Supreme National Security Council (ultraconservative), Mohsen Mehralizadeh, former vice-president (reformer), General Mohsen Rezaï, former commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards (ultraconservative) and the MP Alireza Zakani (ultraconservative).

In total, nearly 600 people had applied for the presidential election in mid-May. The candidates, whose names were announced by the Ministry of the Interior, had to have received the anointing of the Council of Guardians of the Constitution, an unelected body responsible for monitoring the ballot, in order to be selected.

The disqualification of MM. Ahmadinejad, Jahanguiri and Larijani had been announced on Tuesday morning by the Fars news agency, close to the ultraconservatives, which had also published what was then the “Unofficial list” of the seven candidates authorized by the system.

The agency saw the decisions of the Council of Guardians as proof that it “Did not sacrifice the law to opportunism and that, in his selection process, he emphasized the background of individuals, regardless of their rank”.

Intense controversy

The choice of the Council nonetheless provoked an intense controversy. “I have never seen the Council of Guardians come under so much criticism, from the far right to the far left. [du spectre politique iranien] for having disqualified or approved such and such “, written on his Twitter account reformist journalist Mostafa Faghihi.

Reinforcing among some the idea that the result of the election is a foregone conclusion, Fars on Tuesday published the results of a poll carried out by an institute “Deemed” and, according to which, 72.5% of those who decided to vote would give their votes to Mr. Raïssi. While a clear disenchantment is expressed in society, the same poll gives a participation rate of 53%, well above what had been observed for the legislative elections of 2020, where abstention exceeded 57%.

“I have started to make calls and I am in the process of carrying out consultations so that the election is more competitive and marked by a high turnout”Mr. Raïssi said on Twitter.

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The World with AFP