Ahmadinejad"s protégé is not allowed to the presidential race in Iran

Iran's Guardian Council did not  allow  the former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani  and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a protégé of the current president to participate in the presidential elections. The initial list of 686 potential candidates  reduced up to eight people, and  they  will be able to take part in the presidential race,  according to the Iranian agency Fars.

All 12 members of the Council are allies of Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Almost all of them  are approved candidates and  have a reputation for ultra-conservative closely associated with the Iranian religious establishment. The only exception   on their background is as a former vice president and Minister of Technology, Mohammad Reza Aref,  according to the Russian service of the BBC.

Iran's representative at the talks on nuclear program, Saeed Jalili, his predecessor Hassan Rohani, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, the mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the former head of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezai, former parliament speaker Gholamali Haddad-Adel and former Communications Minister. Mohammad Garaz, will participate in the elections. 

The Council did not  consider it necessary to explain the removal of candidates, but a spokesman of the body, Abbas Ali Kahodai, in his Sunday's interview with state television channel Al Alam hinted that Rafsanjani is 78 years old, and  it will be difficulty to him  to cope with the heavy  presidential duties,  because he is "able to work only a few hours a day."

Rafsanjani will not challenge the decision of the Council  or  appeal  to Ayatollah Khamenei, declared the head of his election headquarters, Eskhag Jahangiri. The supporters of Rafsanjani do not conceal their indignation in social networks.

Meanwhile,  the President Ahmadinejad announced his intention to discuss with the spiritual leader of the country the  lifting of the ban on participation in the presidential election of his close associate and head of his administration, reports "Interfax".

Mashai himself called the decision about the ban on participation in the presidential election unfair, and is going to seek justice from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "If it is the will of Allah, the matter will be resolved," the semi-official Iranian news agency “Fars” quoted the politician.

Mashai is a protégé of Ahmadinejad, who himself will not be able to stand for election on June 14, having already served in the position  two consecutive terms.

Ayatollah Khamenei  is the only person in Iran  who can intervene to ensure that the Guardian Council  changed the decision.

Meanwhile, one of the representatives of the Council  noted on Tuesday evening that "the electoral legislation does not provide for the procedure  of  appeal  for candidates."

 The elections  campaign for the approved candidates will end on June 12. Elections will be held on June 14. -0-


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