Reformists Consult With GC on Qualifications

Reformists Consult With GC on QualificationsReformists Consult With GC on Qualifications

A prominent politician said reformists have interacted with the Guardians Council to increase the number of qualified nominees for the Feb. 26 Majlis elections. Mohammad Reza Aref, the head of Reformists' Policymaking Council which was set up in October to coordinate reformist efforts for the parliamentary poll, said in Tehran on Thursday that the body also conferred with some dignitaries on the issue and found them in favor of a review of qualifications.

"I hope that the Guardians Council will extensively review the qualifications of candidates," IRNA quoted Aref as saying. "We are ready to help them."

The Election Monitoring Board, a body under the supervision of the Guardians Council and tasked with vetting the candidates, announced on January 17 that 40% of candidates were qualified, 26% were disqualified and 6% withdrew from the race, while it could not approve or disapprove the qualifications of 28% of nominees.

In the next phase of the process, the Guardians Council began to vet the candidates on January 17. According to Iran's electoral laws, potential candidates must be Muslim, of Iranian nationality, of good mental and physical health, between 30 and 75 years, have no criminal record, uphold the values of Islamic Republic, abide by the Iranian Constitution and hold a master's degree.

"On candidates whose qualifications cannot be approved, we are ready to provide the council with information on their [related political and social] experiences," Aref said.

Aref said candidates with diverse political tastes should run for Majlis elections to encourage people to go to the ballot boxes and choose their candidate of choice.

This is while Siamak Rahpeik, a member of Guardians Council, said on Wednesday that the final number of qualified candidates may increase to 50% or 55%. The Guardians Council will publish a final list of approved candidates on February 16. On reformist efforts to win the election, the former vice president and presidential candidate said a broad consensus has been achieved among reformist parties.

Aref also announced the reformist slogan for Majlis election campaigns, which is "hope, calm and economic boom".

"Reformists will accept the result of polls, whatever it be, and will help winners form an effective parliament," he said. "We give priority to national interests, not partisan interests. Rather than a reformist parliament, we seek an effective parliament where reformists play a key role."