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Iran parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf announces presidential bid

In News, World
June 03, 2024

Ghalibaf is among presidential hopefuls seeking approval to run for the June 28 snap elections.

The conservative speaker of Iran’s parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, has registered his candidacy for the snap presidential election on June 28.

At the end of the five-day registration period on Monday evening, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told reporters that a total of 80 applications have been submitted.

The presidential hopefuls now have to wait until June 11 to see if their candidacy is approved by the Guardian Council – a conservative-dominated, 12-member body of jurists who are either appointed or approved by Iran’s supreme leader and vet all candidates for public office.

Candidates cleared by the vetting body will have two weeks to campaign, present their manifestos, and participate in televised debates before the election.

The upcoming vote, initially slated for 2025, was brought forward following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi on May 19.

Raisi and seven members of his entourage, including foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were killed when their helicopter came down on a fog-shrouded mountainside in northern Iran.

Economic problems

Ghalibaf ran for president previously in 2005 and 2013, and in 2017 withdrew from the race in favour of Raisi who finished second to Hassan Rouhani, giving the moderate leader a second term.

After formally registering his candidacy, Ghalibaf vowed to improve the economy if elected.

“If I don’t run for election, the work that we have started in the last few years to solve the economic problem of the people … will not be completed,” he said.

He added that he “would never have entered the field of competition” if he did not believe that Iran’s economic and social problems could be solved.

Ghalibaf, 62, is a former commander of the air force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, part of Iran’s military.

He was re-elected parliament speaker on May 28 following a legislative election in March.

An Iran-Iraq war veteran, Ghalibaf was mayor of Tehran from 2005 to 2017 and before that was chief of the Iranian police forces.

Candidate registration opened on Thursday and closed on Monday.

Other prominent figures including former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, moderate ex-parliament speaker Ali Larijani and ultraconservative former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili have also registered their bids.

With Ghalibaf filing his nomination, experts believe Jalili’s chances of making it to the finish line have become bleak.

Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani is also likely to withdraw in favour of Ghalibaf.

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