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Iranian women can run for president with 'no legal restraint'


TEHRAN, Apr. 11 (Mehr News Agency) -- Guardian Council spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei on Saturday stated that there is "no legal restraint" on the candidacy of women in the country's presidential elections.

"The Guardian Council has never disqualified candidates only because they have been men or women," he told reporters during his weekly press conference.

Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham had earlier said that according to the Constitution only men can run for president.

Kadkhodaei noted that there were women who submitted their names to the Guardian council in the past elections and the council disqualified them only because they lacked the general qualifications.

The comments come shortly after former Majlis MP Rafat Bayat on Friday told the Mehr News Agency that she intends to run in the upcoming presidential election.

She urged politicians, including men and women, to make an effort to change the views of the Guardian Council about its interpretation of the constitution with regard to the candidacy of women.

On May 20 the Guardian Council will release a shortlist of presidential candidates who can run in the June 12 presidential election.

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