Expert: Odds against Mashaei, Rafsanjani to be approved for Iran's presidential elections

Expert: Odds against Mashaei, Rafsanjani to be approved for Iran's presidential elections

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 15 /Trend S.Isayev

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's candidacy will be approved by the Guardian Council of Iran for the upcoming presidential elections, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey told Trend.

The expert believes Iran's ex-president will eventually participate in the presidential race, as for Iranian government it is important for the elections to be free and fair.

Rafsanjani, who has been Iran's president twice, joined this year's race at the last minute. He was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. Rafsanjani also served as president of Iran from 1989 to 1997.

At the elections, Rafsanjani, if approved by Iran's Guardian Council, will have strong rivals in Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, and the head of presidential office of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei.

Speaking of Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, James Dorsey said the odds are against him.

"This is Ahmadinejad's attempt at attempting to hold on to some degree of power, in part to prevent efforts to prosecute him once he is out of office," the expert said.

Regarding the earlier talks that conservative coalitions in the presidential race can unite and select one candidate for support, Dorsey said it is going to be tough, for one reason because of different factions within the conservatives.

Iran will hold the 11th presidential election on June 14, 2013.

The voters will select the successor of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is not able to participate in the elections for the third term according to the country's constitutional laws.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election and the Guardian Council vets the candidates for qualifications.

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