Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been disqualified from running in next month's presidential elections. His name was left out of the final list of approved candidates that was announced on 20 April 2017.
The decision was taken by the Guardian Council, a group of influential jurists and clerics that was charged with the responsibility of screening the candidates for the upcoming elections, which are scheduled to be held on 19 May 2017.
• The council has approved six politicians to run in the race including current President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, Eshaq Jahangiri, Mostafa Agha Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba.
• The list has, however, excluded more than 1,600 other nominees who had applied for the presidential race, including all 137 female candidates.
• Former President Ahmadinejad had registered himself as a candidate last week, in spite of saying previously that he would not stand.
• In fact, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had also previously urged him not to run.
• Ahmadinejad had left office in August 2013 after serving for two turbulent terms, each of which was four years long.
• His re-election in 2009 had triggered widespread protests, the largest since the Islamic Revolution three decades earlier.
• His re-election plunged the country into deep crisis and when he left in 2013, Iran was divided internally, economically weakened and isolated from the International scene.
• Ahmadinejad still enjoys support among the conservatives in the country.
With this development, Ahmadinejad joins the long list of former Iranian presidents who have had fall outs with the Iranian establishment post their departure from office.
His exclusion now indicates that the final fight would be a three-man race most probably between Rouhani, Raisi and Ghalibaf.
Eshaq Jahangiri, current Vice President has already announced his intention to drop out eventually in favour of Rouhani. He has reportedly entered the race to make Rouhani’s bid for Presidency stronger by buying more airtime in presidential debates and media opportunities.