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Iran Press TV

In vetting presidential candidates, Iran's Constitutional Council 'does not consider electability'

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 25 April 2021 5:57 PM

Iran's Constitutional Council, the body tasked with vetting candidates hoping to contest general elections, says it does not consider individuals' chances of getting elected, as names pop up of people planning to run in the 2021 presidential race.

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee, spokesman for the Iranian Constitutional Council, said in a videoconference with Iranian students abroad on Saturday that the body did not consider electability because that would be a partisan practice.

"The Constitutional Council does not accrue party benefits; it's neutral like an arbiter. And since we're not a party, we cannot consider the candidates' electability in assessing them," Kadkhodaee said.

In many other societies, he said, a regulatory process is defined within the party system, by which candidates are vetted and named and would go on to vie on the national and federal level. In Iran, however, such a party system does not exist, and the Constitutional Council comes into play, Kadkhodaee said.

The Iranian official, a professor of international law, said that if the political parties in Iran energized, the Council might decide not to get so directly involved and some of the vetting might be delegated to the parties themselves.

"If a strong party system exists, and candidates go through… party ranks and [then] enter the election, it will be possible to hold parties and individuals to account [without vetting by the Council]," Kadkhodaee said.

Iran's 13th presidential election will be held on June 18 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of individuals have either announced their intention to run or are expected to do so later.

In response to the question of whether Iranians would be able to vote by mail, Kadkhodaee said the law does not envision such voting, but added that certain measures will be taken to observe health protocols in the upcoming presidential election, such as setting up more polling stations to avoid overcrowding and setting them up outdoors.

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