GC Approves 166 Experts Assembly Candidates

GC Approves 166 Experts Assembly Candidates
GC Approves 166 Experts Assembly Candidates

A spokesman for the Central Election Monitoring Board, affiliated to the Guardians Council, said 166 candidates have been approved for the upcoming Assembly election, scheduled for Feb. 26.

In an interview with the state television on Tuesday, Siamak Rahpeik also said 118 nominees did not meet the minimum requirements, 207 were disqualified and 158 had withdrawn, while 150 were absent from an exam taken by the Guardians Council to certify religious credentials of hopefuls, IRNA reported.

The disqualified nominees can appeal the decision from January 28 to 30, the board said in a statement issued on Tuesday, while their objections will be addressed from January 30 to February 4 by the council.

An all-time record of 801 people, 16 of whom are women, had registered for the election, showing a 62% rise compared with 493 for the previous elections.

According to Iran's Constitution, those who participate as candidates in the assembly election must be well-versed in Islamic precepts and capable of understanding religious jurisprudence.

The Interior Ministry's spokesman, Hossein Ali Amiri, said on Tuesday 37 nominees have been approved in Tehran Province.

The vetting process was carried out by the board from December 27 to January 25. The names of qualified or disqualified nominees will not be announced publicly; the council will personally inform candidates about their qualification on January 26 and 27.

Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, President Hassan Rouhani, Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, President of the Supreme Council of the World Forum for the Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri and interim Friday prayer leader of Tehran, Ayatollah Mohammed Emami-Kashani, have been approved, according to the Persian website Tabnak.

Among those excluded from contesting elections next month were Hojjatoleslam Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Hojjatoleslam Rasoul Montajabnia, a senior member of the pro-reform National Trust Party, Morteza Agha-Tehrani, a former principlist lawmaker, Kazem Mousavi-Bojnourdi, a former judicial official, Mohsen Gharavian, a prominent theological teacher, and Vice President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Majid Ansari.

The high-ranking body of the Assembly of Experts elects and oversees the activities of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and has the authority to appoint or dismiss him.

The assembly is comprised of 88 senior clerics who are elected by the public to eight-year terms. It holds biannual meetings to appoint a new chairman.

In 1989, it picked Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to succeed the founder of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi was appointed the new chairman of the assembly in March this year after the demise of its former chairman, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani.