Reformists Will Release List of Candidates

Reformists Will Release List of CandidatesReformists Will Release List of Candidates

Head of Reformist Policymaking Council Mohammad Reza Aref said reformists will promote maximum participation in the upcoming Majlis elections in February, "under any circumstances".

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Thursday, Aref made the statement in response to rumors about the possibility of reformists withdrawing from the parliamentary elections, as a result of mass disqualification of reformist hopefuls by the Guardians Council, IRNA reported.

Aref said negotiations are underway to prepare the ground for some reformist figures, whose qualifications have not been approved, to make a comeback in the upcoming vote.

"We are waiting for them to be back," he said. "We will release our list of candidates by February 7."

The Election Monitoring Board, a body under the supervision of the Guardians Council carrying out the vetting process of candidates, announced last week that of the over 12,000 candidates, 40% were qualified and 26% were disqualified, while it could not approve or disapprove the qualifications of 28% of nominees and 6% withdrew from the competition.

In the next phase of the vetting process, the Guardians Council started addressing objections to the result on January 17 and the final list of qualified candidates will be released on February 16.

Siamak Rahpeik, a member of Guardians Council, said last Wednesday that the number of qualified candidates may increase to 50% or 55%.

The parliamentary election will be held on February 26, 2016, coinciding with the election for the Assembly of Experts.

With 12,123 candidates registered, the record for participation in Iran's parliamentary elections has been broken. The number was up more than twofold, compared with the previous legislative polls in 2012 where only 5,395 had signed up.

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