Kadkhodaei predicts high voter turnout

May 26, 2021 - 21:35

TEHRAN — The spokesman for Iran's Constitutional Council has dismissed the notion that the disqualification of several high-profile figures by the vetting body in the run-up to the June 18 presidential election could affect voter turnout, claiming that opinion polls conducted by state bodies show that low participation in elections often has social and economic roots.

In an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, Abbasali Kadkhodaei said, “When it comes to verification and vetting, the impact of the Constitutional Council’s votes on the people’s participation is very little.”

That, he said, is what opinion polls conducted by state institutions show. “It’s usually most likely about economic issues, and maybe some political and social issues.”

He said the council carries out its responsibilities based on the Constitution, as the fundamental law of the country, and is duty-bound to do the vetting process. “If a person is vetted and not approved, we are not to blame. We have to act on the basis of law.”

Earlier in the day, the Constitutional Council — which supervises elections and vets candidates — released a final list of seven hopefuls it found qualified to join the presidential race slotted for June 18. A number of prominent figures — including Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani — were barred from contesting the presidential election.

Over 590 individuals had put their names down to vie for the presidency in the key vote, but the council only examined the qualifications of the 40 hopefuls who had submitted all the documents required by the panel.

Kadkhodaei said the hopefuls who had failed to secure the council’s approval could not object to the decision under law. Only the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has the power under the Constitution to intervene and alter the decision, he said, adding that until then in the process this year, the council had not been informed of any such move on the part of Ayatollah Khamenei.

Earlier, Kadkhodaei responded to criticism of the council’s decision to bar the reformist camp’s senior figures from running in the election next month, saying the body bases its decisions on election law, and not on political affiliations.

He assured that the council had meticulously examined the qualifications.


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