Iranian Council Cuts List of Presidential Candidates to 30
Iran's Guardians Council on Sunday reduced the list of candidates in the June 8 presidential elections, saying it had chosen some 30 people out of 46 "who had been qualified in an initial assessment, out of a total of 814 candidates,” according to a statement carried by the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
"The Guardians Council, following expert assessments in the second round, has selected 30 people out of 46 candidates qualified in the first round, and is continuing further screening of them, " said the statement.
The remaining 30 have to go through further examination by the 12-man council, which assesses the potential candidates' conformity with Islamic values, said IRNA.
The council is expected to publish the final results of its work by May 18.
In 1997, the council approved only four out of more than 200 would-be candidates.
Incumbent President Mohammad Khatami is one of the aspiring candidates, and is expected to easily receive the green light from the council, said the agency.
Defense Minister Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, former information minister Ali Fallahian, and a key leader in the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, are other serious challengers to Khatami.
Former labor minister Ahmad Tavakoli, a British-educated economist, also seems to be a challenger to Khatami this time.
Campaigning is scheduled to begin May 19 and continue until 24 hours before the polls open – Albawaba.com
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