The fever of presidency is running high in Iran as prominent figures officially register their candidacy for the June 12 election.
Reformist Mehdi Karroubi
On Saturday, two-time Iranian Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi officially registered his candidacy for the 10th presidential election.
Mehdi Karroubi (left) with Mohammad Ali Abtahi (center)
Karroubi, the Reformist leader of the National Confidence party, entered the
presidential race with the campaign slogan 'Change' within the frameworks of the
Islamic Revolution's Constitution.
Speaking to reporters after his registration, the 72-year-old candidate described the upcoming election as the "most important test" for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government and the Guardian Council -- the electoral and constitutional watchdog tasked with overseeing the elections and vetting presidential candidates before the final line-up is revealed.
Karroubi called on the Interior Ministry -- the body in charge of holding elections -- and the Guardian Council to remain impartial and be very careful in guarding the people's vote.
Karroubi also contested in the 2005 presidential election. The cleric was the speaker of Iran's Parliament (Majlis) between 1990 and 1992 and once more between 2000 and 2004.
Independent Mir-Hossein Moussavi
On Saturday, Mir-Hossein Moussavi also registered in the Interior Ministry.
Known for his successful economic management in a tough period of war in the 80s, Moussavi said he entered the race as an "independent" hopeful to cross political boundaries.
"I have joined the race for presidential election to prevent political boundaries from imposing limitations on this clear path," Moussavi said.
As a vocal critic of President Ahmadinejad and his policies, the last Iranian prime minister criticized what he termed as an inappropriate situation in the country which is "not in the prestige of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution."
He also vowed to revive dignity of the Iranian nation and to uphold its rights.
Incumbent Principlist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
After months of leaving his candidacy in a blur, President Ahmadinejad accepted the challenge on Friday and officially signed up to add another four-year term to his presidency.
Her had earlier urged the nation to use the election as an opportunity to strengthen unity.
"The elections should not promote pessimism in the country, but rather lead to the strengthening of national unity and solidarity," Ahmadinejad said Tuesday.
"No one is allowed to interfere in the electoral process or to negatively impact the right of the Iranian nation to decide who will lead them," he added.
Ahmadinejad's campaign focuses on the message of justice, morality and spirituality.
Independent Mohsen Rezaei
Secretary of the Expediency Council and the war-time commander of Iran's Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Mohsen Rezaei, has also decided to enter the presidential race.
On May 6, after months of efforts to introduce a coalition government before the election day, Rezaei announced his bid to challenge the incumbent president and on Friday registered his candidacy.
He has said that he joined the presidential race to save the country from "the path of destruction" taken by the current administration.
"The truth is that our nation has two very different paths at hand. If President Ahmadinejad gets his way, we will fall off the cliff ... we will be defeated," Rezaei said on May 3.
Iran's presidential elections will take place on June 12. It will be the tenth since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979 that ended the reign of the country's monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
More than 250 people have so far enrolled as candidates for the June 12 election, since registration officially opened May 5.
The registered candidates will be vetted by the Guardian Council who are also in charge of supervising the elections. The influential body will announce the final list of approved candidates on May 20th and 21st.
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