1121 GMT June 14, 2021
A maximum turnout in Iran’s June 18 presidential election will lead to greater national consistency, unity and solidarity and, more importantly, will send a very important message to people outside the country, particularly those who are conspiring to weaken the Islamic Establishment, said the Iranian president’s chief of staff.
Speaking to IRNA on Monday, Mahmoud Vaezi added, as emphasized by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, both the country’s people and government must undertake efforts to guarantee a maximum turnout in the upcoming election.
He noted that it seems that all efforts are focused on this goal, expressing hope that in light of the large number of the hopefuls who have signed up to run to become Iran’s eighth president, on the one hand, and the combination of qualified candidates to be announced by the Constitutional Council, the country’s vetting body, people of all tastes would have the opportunity to vote for their favorite candidate.
Vaezi stressed that any interference by government officials in the process of the election will be met with a strong reaction, adding the government is the main body responsible for holding the election, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly and explicitly said that his administration will guarantee that the vote will be held in a healthy and safe environment and will even protect people’s health in voting stations.
“We are optimistic that the upcoming election will be a good, problem-free and safe one.”
He urged that all government officials are required to fulfill their legal responsibilities and be completely impartial.
On Saturday, the five-day registration process came to an end, and 592 hopefuls (552 men and 40 women) signed up to officially enter the upcoming election.
On Sunday, the Constitutional Council started the vetting process, scheduled to end on May 27.
The long list of the potential candidates includes big names such as Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, and former Parliament speaker Ali Larijani.
Some of the other senior former and incumbent officials on the list are Saeed Jalili, a former nuclear negotiator under ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Chairman of Tehran’s City Council Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani; a former director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi; former president Ahmadinejad; and Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister.
Other dignitaries include Rostam Qassemi, Hossein Dehqan and Saeed Mohammad, all former commanders at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, is also among the registrants.
On Monday, the Constitutional Council’s spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee said the vetting body had held its first meeting to assess the hopefuls’ qualifications, adding the members of the council will convene again on Wednesday to continue their work.
On Sunday, he said to qualify as a presidential candidate, a hopeful must secure at least seven votes in favor from the 12-member vetting body, IRNA reported.
On Friday, Kadkhodaee had noted that the body’s recent interpretation of the law governing the necessary qualifications of presidential hopefuls will serve as the yardstick for vetting the candidates, according to Press TV.
In order to separate out a large number of individuals who register every four years as potential candidates with very basic, or no qualifications, on May 5, the Constitutional Council approved an amendment to a measure that it had ratified earlier to clarify the criteria that apply to candidates applying for the post of president, according to Press TV.
Accordingly, presidential hopefuls must be between 40 and 70 years of age, hold at least a master’s degree or its equivalent, have work experience of at least four years in managerial posts (with specific criteria of its own), and have no criminal record. Notably, top military commanders, with the status of major general and higher are also allowed to run.
Iran’s 13th presidential election will be held concurrently with the country’s fifth Assembly of Experts, first mid-term parliamentary, and sixth City and Village Council elections.