Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Appeal is public. Is that a good sign?

Iran's president has publicly appealed for reconsideration of Majlis candidates. Could this be the beginning of more public politics? Is that good for Iranian politics?

Rouhani criticises ban on reformist candidates
Iran's president has called on the committee vetting candidates for next month's parliamentary elections to allow more reformists to stand…

Elections would be pointless if there were "no competitors", he warned.

His comments came a day after nine factions said the Guardian Council had approved only 1% of the reformist candidates who had registered to run…

Almost 12,000 people applied to stand in the elections on 26 February for Iran's 290-seat parliament and 88-member Assembly of Experts, the body that will pick the country's next supreme leader.

But reformist factions, who favour more political and economic freedom, said they were overwhelmingly targeted, with only 30 of their 3,000 candidates approved…

"This is the biggest number of disqualifications in [Iran's] history," said prominent reformist Hossein Marashi on Wednesday.

But he added that reformists did not plan to boycott the elections, vowing: "We will stay to fight because we don't want extremists to grow." …

Mr Rouhani said that he had assigned Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri to discuss the disqualifications with the Guardian Council.

The head of the committee, Ayatollah Ahmed Jannati, has said its members "will not be influenced by pressure".

But his deputy has also noted that up to 15% of those disqualified from running are likely to be reinstated during the reviewing process.

A final list of approved candidates will be published on 4 February.

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