Jan 20, 2016

Iranian Kudistan: Tehran Rejects High Number of Candidacies for Upcoming Parliamentary Elections

Iranian authorities have rejected the application of many who wish to run for the parliamentary elections that are expected to take place in February 2016, including a number of reformists and Kurds. Frustrated by the decision, pro-reformist Kurdish candidates are worried that the elections will not allow them to obtain a democratic political representation.


Below is an article by Rudaw


Iranian authorities have rejected the candidacy of many who have applied for parliamentary elections next month, endorsing only six reformist candidates – including a Kurd – from the country’s Kurdish regions.

Pro-reform candidates from the Kurdish provinces of Ilam, Sina and Kermanshah were rejected, but five nominees from Urmia province were given the green light to run.

Iranian reformists claim that 99 percent of their candidates were rejected and only 30 were given the right to participate, sparking outrage among those refused.

Parliamentary elections will be held in Iran on February 26, to elect both the 290-seat Islamic Consultative Assembly and the Assembly of Experts. It will be the first time the two bodies are elected simultaneously.

"The rejection of candidates has shocked political activists," said Farhad Amin Pur, a journalist and a reform activist from the Kurdish city of Saqez.

Meanwhile, all candidates from the Kurdish United Front were refused permission to enter the election as a Kurdish political force.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has expressed displeasure at so many candidates being rejected by the conservative faction inside Iran’s ruling religious establishment.

The president, himself a cleric, has vowed to use all his powers to restore the rights of rejected candidates.

Kurdish political activists, however, believe the president does not have the authority to force the Constitution Protection Council (CPC) to increase or adjust the number of candidates, unless it is done through negotiation and dialogue.

Among current Kurdish MPs, eight have been denied participation – four from Sina, three from Kermanshah and one from Ilam.

Ahmad Jannati, the conservative head of the CPC, had earlier warned that "nominating too many people to run for the election is hard, therefore the denial of several candidates is not unexpected."