Presidential Poll Registration Begins

Presidential Poll  Registration BeginsPresidential Poll  Registration Begins

Iran's Interior Ministry started registering hopefuls for the May presidential elections at its Election Headquarters in Tehran on Tuesday, as curious Iranians wait to see the contenders aiming to prevent the incumbent President Hassan Rouhani from repeating his 2013 success.

Doubts and questions over the names of presidential candidates will come to an end on Saturday, the last day of registration.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, in a press conference on Tuesday, said the ministry is in coordination with bodies in charge of overseeing elections to hold "a clean and glorious" election.

He expressed hope that other responsible bodies will also cooperate to prepare the ground for maximum participation in the polls, IRNA reported.

The Guardians Council is in charge of overseeing all Iranian elections while the city council is supervised by a special parliamentary board.

The city council vote will be held concurrent with the presidential election on May 19, but its registration period was March 20-26, during which over 287,000 candidates signed up to vie for about 178,000 council seats across the country.

Fazli warned candidates of conducting untimely publicity campaigns, noting that the 20-day campaigning period begins on April 28 and ends on May 17.

"Starting the campaign too soon and violating the law are not considered good for someone who wants to take the responsibility of managing the country and implementing the Constitution"," he said.

The presidential candidates will be vetted by the Guardians Council from April 16 to 20, and the process can be extended to April 25.

The final list of candidates will be announced by the Interior Ministry on April 27.

***First Principlist Registers

Mostafa Mirsalim, a member of Islamic Coalition Party, was one of the first politicians who registered his name on Tuesday, while wearing a worker's uniform.

The principlist figure, who is also a former minister of culture and Islamic guidance, told reporters his aim was to aid economic recovery by "moving the wheels of domestic production" and create jobs for several millions of unemployed Iranians.

He said he believes his primary rival will be Rouhani.

But a tough job awaits Mirsalim and other rivals of the incumbent president, whose decision to seek reelection was announced late February by one his deputies.

No Iranian president who finished his first term has failed in his second presidential bid. Moreover, members of the reformist camp, one of the two giants of Iran's politics, are in consensus over backing Rouhani's reelection.

The Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, a recently-founded principlist coalition expected to play a big role in the presidential poll, last week announced a five-member shortlist of candidates the bloc could endorse in the race.

Ebrahim Raeisi, the custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) and former prosecutor general, tops the PFIRF shortlist and is considered to have the highest chance of representing the bloc in the race.


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