Guardian Council starts vetting presidential election hopefuls
Guardian Council has started the process of auditing the credentials of the nominees, who have registered to run in the forthcoming 12th presidential election, the body’s spokesman says.
“According to the Constitution, the Guardian Council has a five-day [deadline] to examine the qualifications of the hopefuls and announce [the results],” Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said on Sunday.
He added that the central election monitoring committee had started its work as of today, adding that the constitution allows the Guardian Council to extend the vetting process for another five days.
His comments come as the five-day registration process for the 12th presidential election ended on Saturday.
At the end of the fifth and final day of the registration process, the head of the Interior Ministry's Election Office, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, said a total of 1,636 individuals, including 137 women, had registered to run in the upcoming presidential election.
Campaigning for the presidential election will begin two weeks before the vote.
Iran will simultaneously hold the 12th presidential election and the 5th City and Village Councils Elections on May 19.
Observers predict a high turnout in the election in which voters will pick a president for a four-year term.
Hopefuls’ qualifications non-negotiable: Kadkhodaei
Speaking in a television show on Saturday night, Kadkhodaei said the qualifications of the hopefuls were not a negotiable issue and the Guardian Council would not accept any recommendations in this regard.
He added, however, that the council can revise its decision concerning a candidate within a legal time frame based on information given to the body by reliable authorities.
The Guardian Council’s spokesman also added that the vetting results for hopefuls in every election only applied to that specific round of polls and could not be extrapolated to other terms.
Earlier on Saturday, Kadkhodaei had told reporters that many of the registered hopefuls would “certainly” be disqualified.
He added that the presidential post is a “very important” position and the country’s Constitution has very clearly set out the conditions for the assumption of the office.