TEHRAN (Dispatches) — Approving a variety of candidates for Iran’s presidential election could help boost turnout for the vote, a spokesman for the panel that examines them has said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei’s comments came after more than 590 people registered to run during a five-day span last week.
Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Constitutional Council, said the “presence of candidates with diverse orientations can possibly add to the participation”.
The 12-member Constitutional Council, a body of senior clerics and legal experts, vets candidates for office as well as legislation passed by the Iranian parliament.
Kadkhodaei stressed that the council’s members wouldn’t be swayed by fiery remarks of the candidates.
“The Constitutional Council will never assess the qualifications based on mere statements containing criticism and protest, especially verbal criticisms,” he said.
More than 590 people registered during a five-day span last week, all seeking to replace incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, who is term limited from running again.
Among the top candidates is Iran’s judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric who unsuccessfully ran against Rouhani in 2017. The public has widely grown disenchanted with Rouhani’s administration.
“The public, social and political expectations always desire a high turnout,” Kadkhodaei said. “Nevertheless, from the legal and lawful point of view, low turnout does not bring about any legal problems” with the election’s credibility.