02/10/2016, 09.13
IRAN
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Iran’s Guardian Council approves hundreds of reformist candidates ahead of elections

The constitutional body readmits 1,400 people at first excluded. The final list of candidates published on February 16, vote scheduled for February 26. The number allowed run rises to 6185 (including 586 women) out of 12 thousand requests. President Rouhani hopes for a moderate reformist victory and to continue the policy of openness and renewal.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) -  Several leading reformers are among more than 1,400 candidates that have been readmitted to stand in the upcoming February 26 Parliamentary elections in Iran after being rejected at first.

Yesterday Hossein Ali Amiri, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed that "those readmitted include reformists, moderates and conservatives." He did not specify the names, but clarified that the final list of candidates will be released on 16 February.

12 thousand people applied to run in the national vote to win one of the 290 seats in the House and 88 in the Assembly, called to choose the next supreme leader of the country.

The Council of Guardians of the Constitution (the national constitutional body, called upon to assess the suitability of candidates) has therefore reinstated some personalities excluded in the first round and who had appealed against the decision. The Council is dominated by conservatives and has the right of veto on all nominations for each election.

The number of candidates admitted to the election now stands at 6185, about 51% of those who had applied; these include 586 women, just under 10%. "The fact that the Council of Guardians [of the Constitution] has added another 1400 candidate - says Hossein Ali Amiri - shows the effectiveness of monitoring and consultation by the government".

After a first mass exclusion, the reformists appealed to President (moderate) Hassan Rohani  seeking his intervention to verify the lists.

The reformist group has been relegated to the margins of political and social life of the country soon after the massive campaign of repression against the Green Movement following the disputed presidential elections of 2009 (won by the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and the parliamentarians of 2012. However, the following Rouhani’s election and the recent historic nuclear deal the hopes of reformers have been raised.

The Iranian head of state needs the parliamentary elections of February 26 to be won by moderates and reformers, who can thus guarantee him a majority in parliament and allow him continue to pursue his policy of openings and renewal. Rouhani hopes to capitalize electorally on the lifting of international sanctions in January, following the July 2015 agreement on Tehran's atomic program.

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