400 Candidates Disqualified for City Councils in Iran, 90 of them in Tehran
Hossein Tala, Head of the High Elections Oversight Committee for Islamic Tehran Province City and Village Councils told Iranian Students News Agency(ISNA) that so far, 90 candidates who have been disqualified in the City of Tehran and 311 disqualified candidates from towns have filed grievances about the vetting process.
Among the 90 disqualified candidates, prominent political, cultural, civil, and sports figures such as Massoumeh Ebtekar, Ahmad Hakimipour, Abdolreza Davari, Majid Nasirpour, Ahmad Donyamali, Alireza Dabir, Doroudian, Elaheh Rastgoo, Fatemeh Rakei, Ali Rabiei, Massoud Soltanifar, Mohammad Shahi Arablou, Ali Saleh Abadi, Fereidoon Amoozadeh Khalili, Habibollah Kasehsaz, Mohammad Gharibani, Mohammad Hasan Mokhtabad, Mohammad Hashem Mohimani, and Mohsen Hashemi. In interviews with Shargh Newspapers, Mohsen Hashemi, son of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Fatemeh Rakei said that the reason for their disqualification was Items C and D of Article 26 of the Iranian Constitution, “failure to prove commitment to the Supreme Jurist and the Constitution.”
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has been informed by sources close to some of the disqualified candidates that after registering for the elections, security organizations contacted the reformist candidates for the Tehran City Council elections, asking them to state their position against Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and the Green Movement or to withdraw their applications. On May 8, in a verbal notice to the Iranian Parliament, reformist MP Mohammad Reza Tabesh said, “Unfortunately, some organizations are putting pressure on the reformist City Council candidates, threatening them with disqualification.”
Massoumeh Ebtekar, the sitting Chairperson of the Tehran City Council Environmental Commission and former Head of the Iran Environmental Protection Organization confirmed her disqualification and told Shargh, “I was disqualified for political reasons and I have appealed this decision.”
Earlier, on May 7, former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said to a group of students, “They summon you for City Council elections today, encourage and threaten you to withdraw, saying, ‘we won’t let you come.’ Well, under these circumstances, what does does coming mean? And what use will it have?”