More than 390 candidates for Iran elections rejected in Tehran
( dpa ) - More than 390 out of a total of 1,400 candidates in the Tehran constituency have been rejected by the constitutional watchdog Guardian Council for Iran's parliamentary elections, the official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday.
The number of the approved or rejected candidates for the provinces has yet to be disclosed.
A spokesman of the Tehran governor office told IRNA that the rejected candidates for Tehran and suburbs would have four days to appeal against the Guardian Council decision.
Tehran has 30 seats and is considered as the politically most important constituency.
The spokesman did not give any details on the rejected candidates, but it was expected that most belong to the reform wing close to former president Mohammad Khatami.
More than 7,000 candidates had registered nationwide for the March 14 elections. At stake are a total of 290 seats.
The ideological qualification of all candidates are vetted and approved by the six clerics and six lawyers of the Guardian Council.
As all the 12 council members are considered by the opposition as ultra-conservative and pro-Ahmadinejad, there has been a general fear that as in previous elections, a significant number of reformist candidates would once again be disqualified by the council.
For the 2004 polls, the council disqualified more than 2,500 reformist candidates without giving any plausible reasons.
The main race was expected to be between the reformist-moderate coalition and the conservative camp close to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In the recent weeks however also the conservative camp voiced criticism against the president's policies indicating that even a conservative victory would not necessarily prepare grounds for Ahmadinejad's re-election in summer 2009.