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In a five-day window, which closed on 15 May, some 592 candidates, including 40 women, registered at the Ministry of Interior in Tehran to run in this year’s presidential election. While a large number, it is only about one-third of the 1,636 who registered for the previous election in 2017. The vast majority are expected to be barred from standing by the Shura-ye Negahban (Guardian Council), which is due to vet all the applicants before announcing a final list of approved candidates by 27 May.
Most moderate and reformist figures are expected to be excluded, meaning the contest is likely to come down to a battle between the Principalist and other Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC)-linked conservative candidates allowed through. Campaigning will officially begin on 28 May, for voting on 18 June. Whoever wins may well be in charge when a new Rahbar (Supreme Leader) is chosen, given persistent rumours of Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s weak health.
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