All eyes on Constitutional Council as candidate vetting deadline nears
Iran Press TV
Monday, 24 May 2021 3:29 PM
Iran's Constitutional Council is shortly expected to release a final list of the candidates qualified to contest the upcoming presidential election, ending more than a week of intense guesswork about which hopefuls can secure the vetting body's green light to run for president.
The Council's 12 members â€” comprised of six specialists in Islamic law and six legal jurists â€” have been working two or three shifts a day since May 26 to vet some 40 out of the 592 individuals who registered as candidates in the June 18 presidential and who submitted all required documents, said the oversight panel's spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee.
The vetting process started quickly after a five-day period of registration ended at the election headquarters of the Iranian Interior Ministry. The jurists missed a first five-day deadline to finish examining the documents and extended it for another five days.
The second deadline will expire on Tuesday, following which the Council will present the list of the approved candidates to the Interior Ministry for due action.
A heated campaign season is expected shortly after the list is out.
Kadkhodaee earlier said the lists that appeared online and were attributed to the Council did not reflect the body's decisions, which he said had not been finalized yet. He said the candidacies were rejected or approved by secret ballot and members did not get to learn about the choices of their colleagues.
To get the Council's approval, each hopeful needs at least seven out of the 12 votes, he explained.
Kadkhodaee said Iranian election law stipulated that any individual whose qualification is ascertained be allowed to run for president, without setting any limit on the number of those who can take part.
He also assured that the Council had been examining the qualifications "with more accuracy" this year.
Dozens of well-known figures, including current and former officials, have signed up to contest the presidential election.
City council, midterm parliamentary, and Assembly of Experts elections will be held simultaneously with the presidential vote.
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