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Dates set for entry into race for Iranian Presidency

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The Iranian Interior Minister announced today that registration of presidential candidates for the 2013 election will begin on May 7 and last for five days.

A woman voting in Tehran during June 2009 presidential elections

ISNA reports that Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told reporters today, on Saturday: "We hope that we can make the necessary preparations to carry out the election electronically."

The next presidential election will take place on June 14, with municipal elections also held at the same time.

The Interior Minister added that the Articles 31 and 35 recently put before Parliament were "in violation of the constitution and in contradiction of the separation of the branches of power."

Article 35 states that the candidates must be recommended by top political or administrative figures. It was struck down after heavy criticism of some of the mechanisms stipulated to bring about these political references.

Article 31 calls for an administrative delegation to run the elections. The administration has spoken out against this article, saying it interferes with the duties of the executive branch.

The article is still under debate and, according to the Interior Minister, it has to be evaluated by the Guardian Council.

So far the media have mentioned several potential candidates for president, including: Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Mohsen Rezai, Secretary of the Expediency Council; Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, a chief Ahmadinejad ally, and Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Parliament.

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