Over 100 candidates apply to run in May 19 election
TEHRAN | More than 125 prospective candidates have registered so far on the first day of candidate registration for Iran’s May 19 presidential elections, according to a Tuesday report by the official IRNA news agency.
Registration will remain open until Saturday, and any Iranian national can apply. The applicants will then be vetted by the Guardian Council, a clerical body that will announce a final list of candidates by April 27. There are six women and seven clerics among the initial applicants, with ages ranging from 18 to 79.
President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, is eligible to run for another term. Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Hamid Baghaei, a close ally of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have announced plans to run. The coming vote is seen as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, under which Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.