Iran bars thousands from contesting elections

Iranians walk through a taxi stop off a main square in the Islamic republic's capital Tehran on January 11, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 15 January 2020

Iran bars thousands from contesting elections

  • The reformist newspaper Etemad said on Tuesday that most of those rejected were reformist and moderate candidates

TEHRAN: Iran’s constitutional watchdog has barred thousands of people from running in next month’s parliamentary elections, including 90 current lawmakers, most of whom are accused of corruption.
The Guardian Council, a body of senior clerics and legal experts, vets candidates for office as well as legislation, and rules out individuals if it believes their views or behavior are incompatible with the theocratic system. Half its members are appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A spokesman for the Guardian Council was quoted by the hard-line Kayhan paper as saying most of the lawmakers were rejected for “financial problems,” a reference to fraud and embezzlement. The spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, said more than 14,000 people registered to run in December. Of those, just 5,000 qualified, he said. Of the 290 current members of Parliament, 247 registered to run for re-election. Those rejected can appeal the decision in the coming days.
The reformist newspaper Etemad said on Tuesday that most of those rejected were reformist and moderate candidates. It said that as a result the elections will essentially be an “internal vote” among hard-liners. Hard-liners were also disqualified, but it’s not clear how many.
The elections will test the popularity of the pro-reform bloc led by President Hassan Rouhani.
They have championed improved ties with the West and expanded social freedoms, but have suffered major setbacks since President Donald Trump assumed office.
Iran regularly holds presidential and parliamentary elections, but they are closely supervised by the clerical establishment, and the supreme leader has the final say on all major policies.


Erdogan says Turkey not yet sent troops to Libya, only advisers

Updated 35 sec ago

Erdogan says Turkey not yet sent troops to Libya, only advisers

  • Last week, Erdogan had said Turkey has begun sending troops to Tripoli
  • Said Ankara had only deployed military advisers and trainers so far

ANKARA: Turkey has not yet sent any troops into Libya, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying on Monday, adding that Ankara had only deployed military advisers and trainers so far.
Last week, Erdogan had said Turkey has begun sending troops to Tripoli. He has also previously said Ankara would deploy troops.
Speaking to reporters on a flight back from a Libya summit in Berlin, Erdogan said Turkey’s efforts at the summit had set the groundwork for a cease-fire between the warring parties, according to broadcaster NTV. He added that Turkey’s presence in the North African country increased hopes for peace.