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Iran Begins Registration for June Presidential Election

Iran has opened a five-day registration period for candidates aspiring to run in the June 28 presidential election, following the recent death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash earlier this month, which also claimed the lives of seven others.

The election is taking place as the nation deals with the repercussions of the May 19 crash.

The registration window, open to individuals aged 40 to 75 with at least a master’s degree, will determine the pool of potential candidates.

All candidates must ultimately receive approval from Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists overseen by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s interior minister, initiated the registration period on Thursday.

The Interior Ministry, responsible for the country’s police and election processes, will conduct the elections without substantial international observation.

In a statement, Vahidi assured, “These elections, like the parliamentary elections, will be held in complete safety and health, with good competition and wide participation of all dear people.”

Raisi, a close associate of Khamenei, won the 2021 presidential election, which had the lowest turnout in Iran’s presidential election history. The recent parliamentary elections saw an even lower turnout amidst widespread boycott calls. The list of potential candidates remains uncertain, as does their eventual approval.

Mohammad Mokhber, the acting president and previously a behind-the-scenes bureaucrat, could be a leading candidate, especially since he has already met with Khamenei.

Potential contenders include former hard-line President Mohammad Ahmadinejad and former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, though their candidacies remain uncertain.

The registration period will conclude on Tuesday, June 4. The Guardian Council is expected to announce the final list of candidates within ten days, allowing for a brief two-week campaign period before the late June vote.

Raisi is the second Iranian president to die in office; in 1981, President Mohammad Ali Rajai was killed in a bomb blast during the tumultuous period following the Iranian Revolution.

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