TEHRAN – The candidacy of Iranian President Hassan Rohani for a second term is validated while that of former President Mahmoud Ahmandinejad is rejected.
The Council of Guardians of the Constitution has selected six candidates, including that of the religious conservative Ebrahim Raissi, a close friend of Ayatolah Ali Khamenei considered a rising figure in power, reports The Guardian.
Last week, Ahmadinejad surprised observers by registering to run in defiance of Khamenei who had told him to stay out of the race. He had kept the decision secret and had said that he was only accompanying his former deputy, Hamid Baghaei, to the registration office for the latter to put his name forward. While Baghaei was registering, Ahmadinejad stunned registration officials when he took his national ID out of his pocket and asked to apply.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei did not favor the candidacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former ultra conservative president who had created surprise by announcing on April 12 that he wanted to participate in the May 19 presidential election.
There were some angry social media reactions after Ahmadinejad’s exclusion. “Disqualifying candidates is illegal. If Ahmadinejad has committed a crime, why hasn’t been put on trial all these years?,” tweeted Iranian user @sahartwitt. “We are opposed to the disqualifications of the Guardian Council, it’s not right for the council to decide what the people are meant to decide.”
The Guardian Council said it had compiled a final list of candidates earlier on Thursday and that the interior ministry would announce their names by Sunday.