The unexpected martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raeisi in a helicopter crash last month necessitated early elections in Iran. Some 80 aspirants signed up for the race and 6 names were released for the final list.

The Guardian Council, a 12-member election supervisory body, finalized the list of the approved candidates yesterday (June 9) and submitted it to the Interior Ministry.

Former justice minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, former health minister Massoud Pezeshkian, head of the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Amirhossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf have been cleared to run for the June 28 elections.

Dozens of dignitaries had registered to run for the 14th presidential elections, an early election that will be held due to the unexpected demise of Raeisi.

Nearly 80 divisive figures had been nominated including one former president, one former Parliament speaker, 38 former and current parliamentarians, 13 ex-ministers, and three current ministers. At least four women were among the registered candidates.

The five-day registration that began on May 30 saw those between the ages of 40-75 with at least a master’s degree register as potential candidates.

Officials’ eagerness for Iran’s snap presidential elections

At the end of the five-day registration period on Monday evening, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told reporters that 80 applications had been submitted.

The presidential hopefuls waited several days to see if their candidacy would be approved by the Council which consists of twelve members including six clerics (selected by Iran’s Supreme Leader), and six lawyers (proposed by the head of Iran’s judicial system and voted in by the Parliament).

The vetting body, finally, released a list of those who were qualified on June 9.

The approved candidates cleared by the vetting body will have two weeks to campaign, present their manifestos, and participate in televised debates before the election.

The Qualified candidates will then have 15 days to conduct their electoral campaigns. The election, originally scheduled for 2025, will take place on June 28.

As per Article 115 of the Iranian Constitution, the President must be elected from among religious and political personalities possessing the following qualifications: Iranian origin; Iranian nationality; administrative capacity and resourcefulness; a good record; trustworthiness and piety; convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official madhhab of the country.

The President is elected by an absolute majority of votes polled by the voters. But if none of the candidates can win such a majority in the first round, voting will take place a second time on Friday of the following week.

In the second round, only the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first round will participate.

Officials’ eagerness for Iran’s snap presidential elections
Speaking to journalists on June 5, Ahmad Vahidi, the Iranian interior minister said that the presidential elections will be held on June 28th.

“In the case that none of the candidates can secure the majority to be elected as the president, a runoff will be held a week later on July 5.”

The new administration, the 14th one after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, will assume power in late June or early July and hold office for four years.

According to the Constitution, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has taken the helm as the acting president at the discretion of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

President Raeisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, East Azerbaijan’s governor, and six more people were on board a helicopter when it crashed in the Varzaqan region of the province on May 19.

Officials’ eagerness for Iran’s snap presidential elections

Late President Ebrahim Raeisi

Their aircraft and two other copters were en route to Tabriz City hours after Raeisi, along with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, inaugurated the joint Qiz Qalasi Dam at the border between the two countries earlier on Sunday.

The wreckage of the helicopter carrying Raeisi, as well as Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers as well as crew, was found on Monday morning after an overnight search in poor weather.

Reported by Tohid Mahmoudpour


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