Iran’s Presidential Candidates Emerge, but Does Its President Have Any Power?
Only a small fraction of the 475 people who registered to run for president in Iran will be allowed to, illustrating the Supreme Leader's power.
The number of people who registered to run for president of Iran in next month's election was less than half the amount who registered to run during the 2005 presidential election. According to the New York Times, among the registrants this time were 40 women, although it not thought that the women will actually be allowed to run.
According to the Times, a panel called the “Guardian Council” has to approve an applicant before he or she can become an official candidate. In the last election only six were chosen of more than 1000 who registered. After screening this year’s registrants the panel will not likely approve more than that number. The panel’s views tend toward conservative Islam, and the members look at the candidates’ “religious and political qualifications,” the Times said.
The four potential candidates thought to have the best chance at winning the election are incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohsen Resaei, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and Mehdi Karroubi. While the three contenders do not share political views, they do share a sharp criticism of Ahmadinejad, reports the Wall Street Journal.
In addition to criticizing Ahmadinejad for the state of the Iranian economy, Karroubi pointed to the incumbent's denial of the holocaust (which Ahmadinejad again stated during the UN conference on racism in April) in order to create more opposition for the current president.
Ahmadinejad has not announced officially that he will run for a second term, but his move to release U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi from an Iranian jail this week may indicate that he is looking to create good public relations for himself in anticipation of the election. Saberi was convicted of espionage after a closed door trial and has since been appealing the decision. Her jailing has been highly criticized in the international community.
“Roxana's release works for the public relations of the incumbent president,” said an anonymous source the Los Angeles Times describes as “an aide to one of his rivals.”
This article was originally published on www.findingdulcinea.com
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