Iran's Guardians Council cancels disqualifications of 200 candidates for February elections
The Iranian political vetting body behind the "blacklisting" of thousands of candidates from next month's elections has thus far approved 200 of them to contest the polls, a member of the body said.
Abbas Kadkodaye, a member of the Guardians Council, said the body had also accelerated its work of re-examining the massive rejections amidst widespread allegations that "hardliners" were seeking to rig the result of the February 20 parliamentary polls.
"After the order was given by the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), we have been obliged to speed up our work. So far 200 candidates have been approved," he said in a statement on the Guardians Council's website, cited by AFP.
However, he did not identify the cases on which the body had reversed its decision.
The electoral vetting arm of the Guardians Council, the Surveillance Commission, had disqualified 3,605 of the 8,157 people seeking to stand. Most on the "blacklist" were reformers, among them some 83 incumbent MPs and some of the reform movement's most leading figures.
But the Guardians Council is not expected to complete its work by the end of January, with a definitive list released around February 10 - just 10 days before the polls.
On their part, reformists are complaining that if a final list is only published a week or so before the elections, they will have little time to prepare a campaign. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)