Record Number of Candidates in Experts Assembly Elections

Record Number of Candidates in Experts Assembly ElectionsRecord Number of Candidates in Experts Assembly Elections

The number of senior clerics who registered for the fifth Assembly of Experts election by the Wednesday midnight deadline broke the all-time record.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Friday 801 people, 16 of whom are women, have registered for the election, showing a 62% rise in comparison with 493 who had nominated for the previous elections, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, President Hassan Rouhani, Hojjatoleslam Hassan Khomeini, a grandson of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Chairman of Guardians Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati and Tehran’s provisional Friday prayers leader, Ahmad Khatami, are among prominent figures who have registered for the Assembly of Experts election.

The Assembly of Experts is a high-ranking body that elects and oversees the performance of the Leader of Islamic Revolution.

Members of the assembly, 86, are elected to office by people for an eight-year term. It holds biannual meetings to appoint a new chairman.

The deadline of registration for those who wanted to run for the 10th parliamentary elections was Friday midnight.

Head of Elections Headquarters Mohammad Hossein Moqimi said on Friday that 10,834 persons have registered to run by 4:00 p.m. local time, 1,067 of whom are women.

Fazli also said that the number of female applicants for Majlis elections have risen by 3% compared to the previous term.

According to the minister, 20 Iranians from religious minorities have signed up for candidacy, 73% of whom are under the age of 50.

Fazli noted that the final list of qualified candidates will be released on February 17, 2016.

Iranians are scheduled to cast their votes in the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections to be held concurrently on February 26, 2016.

The candidates for both elections had seven days to register, as the process for Assembly of Experts started on Dec. 17 and for the Majlis on Dec. 19.

There are currently 290 seats in the Iranian Parliament, elected by the direct vote of people in nationwide elections for four years.