Iran to hold presidential election on 28 June

  • 21/05/24

Iran will hold a presidential election on 28 June to choose a successor to Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash on 19 May.

The election timetable was confirmed today at a meeting between the heads of Iran's three branches of government: caretaker president Mohammad Mokhber, head of judiciary Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, and parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.

Iran's constitution obliges the three to arrange for a new president to be elected within 50 days of a sitting president dying, or being unable to carry out duties for a period of more than two months. Candidates will be required to register from 30 May to 3 June. They will be screened by the Guardian Council, a powerful conservative-dominated body responsible for vetting legislation and overseeing elections, between 4 and 10 June. Approved candidates will be able to campaign for 15 days, from 12 to 26 June.

Iran was scheduled to hold presidential elections in 2025, with Raisi expected to run for re-election. His sudden passing forced the country to bring the election forward.

Raisi was travelling to the Iranian city of Tabriz from Azerbaijan, where he had attended the inauguration ceremony of a dam that the countries had jointly constructed. Three other government officials died in the crash, including foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

It is unclear who might participate in the election, but several names are beginning to make the rounds in Iranian media. At the more conservative end of the spectrum, caretaker president Mokhber, parliament speaker Qalibaf, and Tehran's mayor Alireza Zakani are being touted as potential candidates. Of the more moderate-leaning potential candidates, former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani are names that have emerged.

The latter two look like outside bets, as neither are likely to be approved by the Guardian Council. Zarif was among the strongest centrist candidates ahead of the 2017 election but he chose not to run, while Larijani registered but was disqualified.

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