Iran opens registration for presidential election after Raisi’s helicopter death

30 May 2024, 10:54

A Shiite Muslim holds a photograph of late Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi
India Kashmir Iran. Picture: PA

All candidates must ultimately be approved by Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists overseen by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran has opened a five-day registration period for hopefuls wanting to run in the June 28 presidential election to replace Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash earlier this month along with seven other people.

The election comes as Iran grapples with the aftermath of the May 19 crash, as well as heightened tensions between Tehran and the United States, and protests including those over the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini that have swept the country.

While Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 85, maintains final say over all matters of state, presidents in the past have bent the Islamic Republic of Iran towards greater interaction or increased hostility with the West.

Iran Election
Interior Ministry staff register candidates for Iran’s June 28 presidential election (Vahid Salemi/AP)

The five-day period will see those between the ages of 40 to 75 with at least a master’s degree register as potential candidates.

All candidates must ultimately be approved by Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists ultimately overseen by Ayatollah Khamenei. The panel has never accepted a woman, nor anyone calling for radical change within the country’s governance.

Interior minister Ahmad Vahidi opened the registration period. The Interior Ministry, in charge of the country’s police, runs Iranian elections with no substantial international observation.

“These elections, like the parliamentary elections, will be held in complete safety and health, with good competition and wide participation of all dear people,” the minister said.

Iran Leadership What’s Next?
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei maintains final say over all matters of state (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Mr Raisi, a protege of Ayatollah Khamenei, won Iran’s 2021 presidential election after the Guardian Council disqualified all of the candidates with the best chance of potentially challenging him.

That vote saw the lowest turnout in Iran’s history for a presidential election. This year’s parliamentary vote saw an even-lower turnout amid widespread boycott calls.

That is likely to have been a sign of voters’ discontent with both a hard-line cleric sanctioned by the US in part over his involvement in mass executions in 1988, and Iran’s Shiite theocracy over four decades after its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Who will run – and potentially be accepted – remains in question.

The country’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, a previously behind-the-scenes bureaucrat, could be a front-runner, because he has already been seen meeting Ayatollah Khamenei.

Also discussed as possible aspirants are former hard-line president Mohammad Ahmadinejad and former reformist president Mohammad Khatami – but whether they would be allowed to run is another question.

The five-day registration period will close on Tuesday. The Guardian Council is expected to issue its final list of candidates within 10 days afterwards. That will allow for a shortened two-week campaign before the vote in late June.

APTOPIX Iran Politics
Iran’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, could be a front-runner in the June 28 election (Vahid Salemi/AP)

The new president will take office while the country now enriches uranium at nearly weapons-grade levels and hampers international inspections.

Iran has armed Russia in its war on Ukraine, as well as launched a drone and missile attack on Israel amid the war in Gaza. Tehran also has continued arming proxy groups in the Middle East, like Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.

Meanwhile, Iran’s economy has faced years of hardship over its collapsing rial currency.

Widespread protests have swept the country, most recently over Ms Amini’s death following her arrest for allegedly not wearing her mandatory headscarf to the liking of authorities, A UN panel says the Iranian government is responsible for the “physical violence” that led to her death.

Mr Raisi is only the second Iranian president to die in office. In 1981, a bomb blast killed President Mohammad Ali Rajai in the chaotic days after the Islamic Revolution.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world in Switzerland

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world leaders in Switzerland

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work

Lynn Conway sitting on a bench at the University of Michigan

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender prejudice, dies aged 86