Guardian Council mulling new criteria for presidential candidates

May 5, 2021 - 22:4

TEHRAN— In an attempt to separate out large numbers of people who nominate with very basic or no credentials, Iran's Guardian Council has revised the criteria for individuals intending to run as presidential candidates.

Hadi Tahan Nazif, a legal jurist on the Guardian Council, said that during a Wednesday meeting, all members of the vetting body reached a consensus on addressing the disorder that emerges in the registration of presidential candidates each four years and defining relevant criteria.

He cited the fact that every four years, a significant number of individuals show up at election headquarters, declare their candidacy, and simply register by holding photographs and a copy of their identification cards.

Tahan Nazif stated that the Council agreed to amend an earlier interpretation of the Constitution to clearly identify and announce the requirements used to assess a political and “religious rajol” who is resourceful and has managerial skills.

The Iranian Constitution states that the country's president must be a political and religious rajol, a term borrowed from Arabic that literally translates as "man." Some constitutional scholars argue that the term should not be interpreted literally, and that a woman of high political standing and/or history should not be considered a "political rajol" and therefore be entitled to run for president if she meets the other criteria as well.

Other precise information, according to Tahan Nazif, were also decided upon.

“After much deliberation,” he said, “it was determined that presidential candidates be expected to have minimum qualifications in terms of educational degree, job and managerial experience, and minimum and maximum ages.”

‘Top military brass can field candidacy’

The qualifications were announced as follows: all candidates must be between the ages of 40 and 70, hold a master's degree or its equivalent, have at least four years of work experience in management positions (with relevant criteria), and have no criminal record.

Notably, top military officers with the rank of general or higher are permitted to run as well.

The Iranian presidential elections will be held on June 18.