Guardians Council Completes Review of Electoral Disqualifications

Guardians Council Completes Review  of Electoral DisqualificationsGuardians Council Completes Review  of Electoral Disqualifications

The Interior Ministry's spokesman said the election vetting body, the Guardians Council, has finished looking into complaints of disqualified candidates, setting the stage for competition to begin.

In an interview with IRNA in Tehran on Tuesday, Hosseinali Amiri said the council has submitted a final list of approved candidates to the ministry and the names of hopefuls deemed eligible to stand for the February 26 parliamentary elections will be announced on Wednesday.

"The ministry will send the list to the office of the provincial governors today and the names of candidates for this Majlis election will be released to the media tomorrow," he said.

Siamak Rahpeyk, spokesman for the Central Election Monitoring Board, a body under the supervision of the Guardians Council, said on the same day that after investigating the records of 12,123 individuals registered to run for the parliamentary polls, the board has approved 6,233 candidates and excluded 5,223, while 612 withdrew from the race.

Statistically, nearly 55% of candidates have been approved to vie for 290 seats, almost 21 for every seat of the legislative body.

This is while the board had released an initial report on qualifications on January 16, where only 4,800, or 40% of all candidates, were cleared to take part in the parliamentary elections this month.

In the previous Majlis polls of 2012, only 5,395 had signed up to contest.

Tehran's deputy governor general for political affairs, Ali Asghar Nasserbakht, announced on Wednesday that the total number of approved candidates for Tehran Province is 1,167 and 1,229 cannot stand for the race, apart from 92 who reversed their decision to run.

Majlis seats are distributed between 207 constituencies. Tehran Province with 35 seats has the largest share among all provinces, while 30 of them belong to the constituency of the capital city of Tehran.

Those eligible to run have one week from Thursday to wage their electoral campaign, while they are barred from canvassing on the day before elections, February 25.

About 55 million Iranians with over 18 years of age can vote in the February 26 polls.

  Reformist Hopefuls Named

The list of reformist candidates for the parliamentary elections was released on Tuesday. In the list headed by Reformist Policymaking Council chief, Mohammad Reza Aref, 22 men and eight women are included.

Although most of them are reformists, some representatives from pro-government groups known as moderates, including those of Moderation and Development Party, are also on the list.

The reformists had previously announced that they will enter into an alliance with moderates for this month's parliamentary elections.

Some famous figures on the list are lawmakers Ali Motahhari, Kazem Jalali and Alireza Mahjoub, as well as former lawmakers Soheila Jelodarzadeh and Elias Hazrati, along with the leader of Democracy Party Mostafa Kavakebian.

The list of Principlist candidates for the parliamentary votes was announced on February 7 and includes prominent lawmakers Gholamali Haddad-Adel, Mehrdad Bazrpash, Ahmad Tavakkoli and Alireza Zakani, in addition to Majlis Deputy Speaker Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabifard and former Tehran mayor Mohammad Nabi Habibi.

The incumbent parliament is majority principlist, which means that a shift in power in favor of the reformists will be difficult.