Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri have officially declared their candidacies for the 12th presidential election in Iran as registration for the polls wraps up.
Qalibaf arrived at the Iranian Interior Ministry's Election Office on Saturday and registered to run in the forthcoming election in May.
Addressing reporters after his registration, Qalibaf disputed as unrealistic incumbent President Hassan Rouhani’s claims about the current administration's economic performance.
Qalibaf has formerly served as commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Air Force from 1997 to 2000 and police chief from 2000 to 2005. He was also the managing director of Iran's Khatam al-Anbiya Development Headquarters. He was also a candidate in both the 2005 and 2013 presidential elections.
Earlier in April, the national assembly of the Popular Front of the Islamic Revolution Forces named their five final candidates for the upcoming presidential poll through voting.
The shortlist included Hojjatoleslam Raeisi, who garnered 2,147 votes, followed by Alireza Zakani, a former lawmaker, with 1,546 votes, Mehrdad Bazrpash, also a former lawmaker, with 1,404 votes, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who is the current mayor of Tehran, with 1,373 votes, and Parviz Fattah, the current head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, with 994 votes.
The five were elected from a total of ten candidates, who had been chosen in the first meeting of the assembly, which was held at the same venue on February 23.
The five-day registration process for the presidential election ended on Saturday.
At the end of the fifth and final day of the registration process, the head of the Interior Ministry's Election Office, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, said that a total number of 1,636 individuals, including 137 women, had registered to run in the upcoming election.
Iran will simultaneously hold the 12th presidential election and the 5th City and Village Councils Elections on May 19.
The Guardian Council is scheduled to start vetting presidential hopefuls for their qualifications on Sunday.
The Guardian Council spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, told reporters on Saturday that many of the registered hopefuls would “certainly” be disqualified.
He added that the presidential post is a “very important” position and the country’s Constitution has very clearly set out the conditions for the assumption of the office.
Other high-profile figures signing up
First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri also registered on Saturday to run in the upcoming presidential election.
Speaking to reporters after completing the registration process, Jahangiri said unity is needed to overcome challenges, citing unemployment as among the country’s main problems.
He said Iran needs to create one million job opportunities each year.
Jahangiri was the minister of industry, mine and trade from 1997 to 2005. Before that, he was the governor of the central province of Isfahan and also a member of the Parliament for two terms.
Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, the brother of the late chairman of the Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, also on Saturday put his name down for the presidential contest.
Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, 75, was the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for some 10 years until 1994 and also a member of the Expediency Council since 1997.
Meanwhile, former minister of Agriculture Jihad Sadeq Khalilian, former lawmaker Evaz Heidarpour, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Education and Research Committee Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, member of Tehran’s Islamic City Council Hassan Bayyadi, former vice president for parliamentary affairs Ahmad Moussavi and lawmaker Hamid Reza Haji-Babaei were among other figures who threw their hat in the presidential race.