International

Iran defends decisionto disqualify candidates

It had barred thousands of moderates

Iran’s electoral watchdog on Wednesday defended its decision to disqualify thousands of candidates for a crucial parliamentary election in two days, as a lacklustre campaign neared its end.

Conservatives are expected to make an overwhelming resurgence in Friday’s election, which comes after months of steeply escalating tensions between Iran and its decades-old arch foe, the U.S.

Their gains would be made at the expense of those who back President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate conservative who was re-elected in 2017 promising people more freedoms and the benefits of engagement with the West.

Campaigning came to an end on Wednesday.

Thousands of hopefuls, most of them moderates and reformists, were barred from standing by the Guardian Council, the powerful body that vets election candidates in Iran.

But the Council said it was “neutral” in its dealings with all political camps and acted in accordance with the law. “The Guardian Council follows the laws and regulations parliament has passed at different times,” said its spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 11:27:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-defends-decisionto-disqualify-candidates/article30863787.ece

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