As many as 40 names to be on Iranian ballot

May 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM
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TEHRAN, May 20 (UPI) -- There may be as many as 40 candidates on the ballot when Iranians vote June 14 to select their next president, a Guardian Council spokesman said.

At least 600 people registered to compete in Iranian presidential elections. Any Iranian national with political or clerical credentials can register, though qualifications are vetted by the 12-member Guardian Council.

Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said there may be as many as 40 names on the June 14 ballot, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

The Guardian Council spokesman said the 12-member panel would submit its final list to the Iranian Interior Ministry by Tuesday, which will announce the list within two days. Candidates can then start the formal campaign period.

High-profile candidates who have registered include chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and former President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.

Rafsanjani was criticized during the 2009 campaign for supporting opposition leader and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi. Rafsanjani has been openly criticized for competing in this year's contest from conservative Iranian lawmakers, including Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister and senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

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