Over 100 can­di­dates ap­ply to run in May 19 elec­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

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.

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