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Two parliamentary candidates disqualified as country votes
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1897 days ago | Saturday, 15th March , 2008 , 12:39 [pm] | Azerbaijan
|.|| Just minutes before polling stations opened in Iran’s parliamentary elections on Friday, the authorities disqualified two candidates, the cleric, Jafar Fathalizadeh, and reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi.
Iran’s Guardian Council, an unelected
Just minutes before polling stations opened in Iran’s parliamentary elections on Friday, the authorities disqualified two candidates, the cleric, Jafar Fathalizadeh, and reformist candidate Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi.
Iran’s Guardian Council, an unelected religious oversight body that vets all election candidates, said Fathalizadeh and Pourebrahimi were unsuitable candidates.
Fathalizadeh was removed from electoral lists early on Friday, accused of having spread ‘racial hatred’ and for ‘inciting people to clash with police during the campaign’.
He now risks being charged with ‘endangering state security’ and being hauled in front of a tribunal of clerics.
Fathalizadeh, an ethnic Azerbaijani, was standing for election in Marand and Jolfa, in the Iranian Azerbaijan area, northwestern Iran.
The local prefecture ordered Pourebrahimi’s name to be expunged from candidate lists, without giving any reason. He was a candidate in Kerman, western Iran.
The word in Kerman is that Pourebrahimi, an immensely popular figure, was disqualified because he was certain to beat his conservative opponent.
More than 40 million voters in 30 provinces were eligible to cast ballots for 4,500 candidates nationwide competing for 290 seats in the parliament (the Majlis).
The Guardian Council disqualified nearly half of those who applied to run in the election, many of them reformists and opponents of Iran’s hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Friday’s polls are expected to produce few surprises, with the Majlis remaining in the grip of conservatives.adnkronos, Voice of a Nation