Iran opens registration for May 19 presidential election

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Iran opens registration for May 19 presidential election

Tehran, Apr 11 (AP) More than 100 prospective candidates have registered so far on the first day of candidate registration for Iran’s May 19 presidential elections, according to a report today 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. The council normally does not approve dissidents or women for the formal candidate list.

President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, is eligible to run for another term. Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Hamid Baghaei, a close ally of former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have announced plans to run. Both have vowed to fight poverty and corruption.

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.

The nuclear deal was engineered by the Rouhani administration and went into practice in 2016. Since then Iran has resumed selling oil and signed deals worth billions of dollars for passenger planes to replace its aging fleet.

However, critics of the deal complain that these economic benefits are yet to trickle down to average Iranians. AP RC

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.