Criticizing Leader Has No Bearing on Fate of Election Candidates
IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK
TEHRAN – Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei has emphasized that criticizing the Leader has no bearing on possible approval or disqualification of a candidate who wishes to contest the upcoming parliamentary election.
Speaking at a press conference in Tehran yesterday, Kadkhodaei stressed that criticizing the Leader will not necessarily lead to disqualification of a prospective candidate for Parliamentary elections.
He added, “If someone criticizes the Leader, he will not be disqualified. The Leader has repeatedly stated that he has no problem with criticism and this will not serve as a criterion for approval or disapproval of election candidates.”
“But criticism is not the same thing as an insult, defamation or slander. Criticism is allowed, but insults, defamation, and slander are not,” he noted.
He also criticized the executive boards for not observing regulations, adding that the council will work with scrutiny in order defend rights of candidates.
Reacting to a question that 91 percent of the candidates have been qualified to run for Majlis election, he said that the executive boards do their own jobs and the council does its own and it vets carefully all candidates.
He also criticized Majlis for not approving a law to restrict the number of candidates as over 16,000 candidates have registered to run for this year’s Majlis election. He went on to say that over 11,000 candidates have registered for the first time for election which shows significant growth.
He added that reviewing the candidacy of each candidate takes 10 minutes in the Guardian Council.
He noted that legislative body could approve the election law in a way to limit excessive registration.
Kadkhodaei reiterated that the final list of qualified candidates for the election will be announced in mid-February and the disqualified will have time to protest.
He reiterated that the Guardian Council will not bargain or bow to outside pressures and do its job based on the law.
Before answering questions from journalists, Kadkhodaei first explained the details of the upcoming Parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections.
The spokesman said we did approve the bill for paperless international trade and the shipping agreement between Iran and Kazakhstan.