Iranian election authorities say several new high-profile politicians including hardliners, reformists, and allies of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have registered for the June 14 presidential elections.
Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Ahmadinejad’s adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr and the president’s elder brother, Davood Ahmadinejad are among dozens who joined the race ahead of Saturday’s registration deadline. Pro-reform activists Ebrahim Asgharzadeh and Javad Eta’at also signed up.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Friday that an adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined the presidential race.
Loyalist Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel is a lawmaker and former parliament speaker.
Among other candidates who registered on Friday was reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, a former vice-president.
The campaign is taking shape as open season on Ahmadinejad’s legacy and his combative style that bolstered his stature among supporters but alarmed critics. Ahmadinejad is barred by law from seeking a third term due to term limits under Iran’s constitution.
The hardline Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog, will vet the applicants before allowing them to run.
Candidate registration started on Tuesday and ends on Saturday.