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TEHRAN, April 14. /TASS/. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has registered to run for a second four-year term in the upcoming presidential elections in the country, set for May 19, the Fars news agency reported on Friday.
Rouhani, backed by Iranian reformers, has high chances to become a frontrunner in the presidential race. Another favorite in the election campaign is Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate from the alliance of conservative parties, the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces.
The candidates’ registration started on April 11 and will last for five days. After that, a final list of candidates whose names will be put on the ballot papers to be approved by the supervisory council that will rigorously shorten the list. More than 860 people have been registered by the Iranian Interior Ministry as candidates for the upcoming presidential election, the Election Headquarters announced.
Historical practice from previous presidential campaigns shows that the council strikes off most candidates from the list, leaving some ten people who it deems most deserving to run
Under the law on presidential elections, a candidate must be Iranian by birth and citizenship, a respected religious and political figure, a competent, virtuous individual committed to the principles of Islamic revolution and the official religion (Shiite Islam), in addition, this person must have solid reputation. This rather general wording explains that scores of people may seek the presidency.
Four previous Iranian presidents - the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (who served as president in 1981-1989), Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997), Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013) - were re-elected for the second term. Under Iran’s Constitution, a president cannot serve for three terms in a row.