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Iran Press TV

Iranian administration, Constitutional Council differ on interpretation of electoral law

Iran Press TV

Monday, 10 May 2021 7:39 PM

Iran's Constitutional Council says it will only vet those presidential hopefuls who have submitted documents in accordance with the body's recent interpretation of the law, as a spat surfaces between the administration of President Hassan Rouhani and the Council over the required qualifications of presidential candidates.

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee, the spokesman for Iran's Constitutional Council, said the body's recent interpretation of the law governing the necessary qualifications of presidential hopefuls was binding on the Interior Ministry and other executive bodies, Fars reported on Monday (May 10).

Last week, the Council, which is tasked with vetting all candidates hoping to contest general elections, released an amendment to a measure that it had ratified earlier in order to clarify the criteria that apply to candidates applying for the post of president.

Under the Council's new interpretation, all nominees would have to be between 40 and 70 years of age, hold at least a master's degree or its equivalent, have a work experience of at least four years in managerial posts (with specific criteria of its own), and have no criminal record. Furthermore, top military commanders with the status of major general and higher are also allowed to run.

On Monday, President Rouhani issued a directive to the Interior Ministry ordering it to act based on the interpretation of the Office of the Vice President for Legal Affairs and according to the law as it stood currently, an apparent dismissal of the Council's recent interpretation.

The Office of the Vice President for Legal Affairs has said formerly that, in accordance with Article 71 of the Constitution, outlining legislative criteria is solely the responsibility of the Parliament.

Rouhani's directive, which was issued only a day before the registration of hopefuls begins, came as the Interior Ministry had earlier announced that it would implement the Constitutional Council's interpretation.

The Council has said the recent interpretation helps clarify the required qualifications of presidential candidates and prevent the usual disorder in the registration process, where, in addition to many luminaries, many people of little or no qualifications nominate every four years.

Iran will vote on June 18 for a successor to President Rouhani in its 13th presidential election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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