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Iran: Challengers of 2009 election banned from parliamentary elections

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's Guardian Council announced that anyone who was actively involved in the post-election protests of 2009 will be barred from participating in the coming parliamentary elections.

Guardian Council Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodayi
Guardian Council Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodayi

ISNA reports that Abbasali Kadkhodayi, spokesman for the Guardian Council told a press conference today: "We have a strict ban in our eligibility criteria against those who were seriously involved in the sedition."

The Islamic Republic establishment uses the term "sedition" to refer to the protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed victory in 2009.

Kadkhodayi added the Council has no specific criteria for assessing reformist candidates, and the usual "elections laws and the actions of the individuals" will be the basis for determining eligibility.

Iran's Guardian Council decides the eligibility of election candidates and it has often been accused of disqualifying individuals that do not conform to its conservative bias.

Just last week, IRNA quoted the head of Iran's Elections Headquarters, Solat Mortazavi, saying members of currently banned reformist organizations -- the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution and the Freedom Movement of Iran -- will not be allowed to run in the elections.

He claimed these groups have been disbanded, as far as the Interior Ministry is concerned, and they will not be allowed to present a list of candidates.

Iran will hold parliamentary elections next March, and the participation of reformist candidates has been a topic of hot debate because of the widespread protests that hit the country over allegations of fraud in the 2009 presidential elections. The reformist candidates, Mehdi Karroubi and MirHosein Mousavi, challenged Ahmadinejad's victory, which led to the government crackdown on protesters and the house arrest of Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard and Karroubi, who remain under arrest since last February.

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