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Former President Ahmadinejad seeks another term

Foto: Daniella Zalcman, flickr, CC-BY-2.0.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose presidency was marked by his harsh anti-Israel rhetoric, is looking to return to the office. Polls will be held on June 28 to choose a successor to Ebrahim Raisi, killed in a helicopter crash.

Former hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday registered as a candidate for the upcoming presidential election, Iranian media reported.

During his two terms as president from 2005 to 2013, he was known for making statements that were vehemently hostile to Israel, even denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Low turnout expected

With registration due to close on Tuesday, some 20 candidates have put their names down so far, state radio said.

The country's Guardian Council, consisting of clerics and legal experts, is then to decide within the following 10 days which candidates will be permitted.

In the past, only candidates seen as loyal to the country's system have been accepted, and Ahmadinejad's bid to run in 2021 was barred by authorities.

It thus remains to be seen whether the 67-year-old will go forward this time, particularly as he is thought to have fallen into disfavor with Iran's establishment because of recent remarks he has made that were critical of the government.

In Iran, the president is the head of government, but not head of state, with ultimate power currently held by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, whom Ahmadinejad openly challenged during his time in office.

Observers are predicting that few people will turn out to vote in the elections, with many Iranians disillusioned with politics amid widespread repression.

Parliamentary elections earlier this year had a record-low turnout of around 40%.

The June 28 election was called after the incumbent president, Ebrahim Raisi, was killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash.

Second publication by courtesy of DW

Foto: Foto: Daniella Zalcman, flickr, CC-BY-2.0.


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