The former president of Iran Ahmadinejad and the disqualified Larijani register for the elections | Politics News

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others see an opportunity, but it is still unclear who will be qualified to chair the Guardian Council.

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other divisive figures – such as moderate Ali Larijani and ultra-conservative Saeed Jalili – have pledged to run in new elections following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last month.

Ahmadinejad, who was president from 2005 to 2013, registered along with dozens of others at the Interior Ministry on Sunday, a day before the registration period ends.

The politician, who had been largely sidelined after his controversial terms, said he is only heeding “a call from people all over the country” to run again, and that he is confident he can solve Iran’s domestic and international problems.

“Don’t ask political questions,” he said with a smile when reporters asked him about his reaction if the Guardian Council, the constitutional body that vets all candidates, disqualified him from running.

Despite Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urging him to stay away in 2017, he registered and was banned from running, but decided not to register for the 2021 election.

Ahmadinejad says improving the economy and fighting corruption are among his top priorities (Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

Ahmadinejad’s presidency was marked by economic malaise defined by massive inflation and currency devaluation, along with explosive tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, which led to the imposition of multilateral sanctions on the country.

His re-election in 2009 sparked nationwide Green Movement protests amid allegations of vote rigging, which were refuted by authorities as they mounted a crackdown.

Who else wants to be in the race?

Also among the dozens who have signed up to run for president are senior security official and former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, former three-time parliament speaker Ali Larijani, Tehran mayor Alireza Zakani and former central bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati. .

Jalili is now the Iranian supreme leader’s representative to the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and was security chief from 2007 to 2013 at the height of tensions over the nuclear file. He has already run unsuccessfully for president three times before.

Larijani, a conservative figure from a powerful family, is perhaps the only relatively moderate candidate with any chance of winning a significant number of votes, if he receives the green light from the Guardian Council after being disqualified in 2021.

Despite disqualification last time, Larijani was the first major figure to announce his candidacy, registering in Tehran on Friday and his campaign releasing a dramatic video containing cinematic shots of him in the process.

After the last presidential and parliamentary elections produced the lowest turnout in the nearly 45-year history of the Republic of Iran, turnout is also expected to be a challenge during this vote.

The Iranian parliament’s research center announced Sunday that 53.4 percent of people – responding to a survey it conducted – said they would vote in the June 28 presidential election, with 28.9 percent still undecided.

This is just above the 48 percent that saw Raisi become president, and much higher than the 42 percent turnout announced for March’s parliamentary elections.

The Guardian Council is scheduled to begin examining candidates from Tuesday for six days, after which the list of approved candidates will be announced on June 11.

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