Iran's moderate President Mohammad Khatami on Friday signed up as a candidate for presidential polls set for June 8, a race he looks set to win, said Reuters.
Having seen the reforms he introduced to the Islamic Republic all but wiped off the board in a conservative clampdown, the popular Khatami, elected in 1997, has delayed signaling his intention to run for a second term.
However, the president on Friday filled in candidacy forms at the interior ministry election headquarters, signed them and handed them over to election officials, witnesses told the agency.
Khatami had complained that the presidency lacked executive power after seeing a series of laws introduced by his government, and overwhelmingly backed by parliament, vetoed by the conservative-dominated constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council.
The Tehran Times reported Thursday that Khatami would register for the presidential elections on Saturday.
The registration started on Wednesday and candidates have five days to complete the process.
Khatami's supporters have pressed him to participate in the elections to push ahead with his ideals of establishing the rule of law and a civic society. He has kept the nation on tenterhooks over his decision to participate.
His opponents are charging that the pro-reform camp has kept Iranians in suspense in order to gain more votes.
According to the paper, a 67 presidential hopefuls on Wednesday filed their papers at the interior ministry to run for president.
After registration, the Guardian Council will screen the candidates to approve or disqualify them.
The council is supposed announce the results of its vetting procedures in 10 days.
Meanwhile, two Iranian women were among the 67 prospective presidential candidates, said reports.
AFP said that Farah Khosravi, who is close to Iran's conservative camp, and an unknown political figure, Touran Jamali, were the female competitors.
Khosravi accused Khatami of disappointing his female and youth supporters, reported AFP.
"Mohammad Khatami has not kept his promises. He has failed to keep his promises to the people, to the young and to the women," said Khosravi, 47.
The president is not "capable of lowering inflation, or checking unemployment," she added.
"If he runs, he will not get even eight million votes," in contrast to the 20 million votes he received in 1997, she predicted - Albawaba.com
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