Vetting of Presidential Candidates Explained
Guardians Council’s Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodaei explained the process started on Sunday to screen 1,636 nominees registered for the May 19 presidential election.
The council oversees all elections, except the city council vote that is supervised by the parliament.
Speaking in a televised program on Monday, Kadkhodaei said unlike the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, in which provincial oversight boards do the preparatory work for the council, the council conducts the whole process of vetting the presidential nominees, IRNA reported.
The five-day registration period for the election ended on Saturday and the council has until April 20 to complete the scrutiny of the credentials of nominees.
The period can be extended to April 25, but the list of qualified candidates must be announced by April 27.
Usually, most hopefuls do not possess even basic requirements. In previous presidential polls, the council approved only four to 10 candidates.
Kadkhodaei said 12 members of the council review the profiles of candidates. After that, candidates need at least seven affirmative votes in an internal voting to successfully pass the vetting.
According to Article 115 of the Constitution, the president must be “a religious and political personality” who holds Iranian nationality, has administrative capacity and a good past record, and believes in fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic.
Kadkhodaei said outside pressures and lobbies do not influence the view of council members.
“But the ground is prepared for informed persons to provide documents about candidates or comment on their managerial capacity,” he said.
The spokesman also said the council’s approval of qualifications is not valid for a lifetime and will be limited to the presidential election for which the nominee has chosen to register.
The 20-day campaigning period for approved hopefuls is April 28 to May 17.
The main contenders for the race are considered to be incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raeisi, the custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH).
Other well-known candidates include Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his former deputy Hamid Baqaei and Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former head of state broadcaster and brother of the late president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.