The Iranian Version of a Controlled Election got its two most interesting candidates today. Rafsanjani and the Ahmadi-Nejad backed Mashaei go for Opposition. Rutgers University based Amirahmadi was not mentioned and there might be 140 names on this second start line. The final-start is to be set by the list to be released May 16, 2013 for a First-Round on June 14th.
IRANIAN VERSION of THEOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY THAT WILL SET UP IRAN RULERS until June 2017.
The eleventh election of the President of Iran is scheduled to be held on 14 June 2013. If no presidential candidate polls 50 percent of the vote on the first round, a runoff will be held on 21 June. It will elect the seventh President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Registration for candidates took place from 7 May and concluded last night – on 11 May 2013.
After the registration step, registered candidates must be qualified by the Guardian Council in order to be on the ballot.
Their list will be released after five days – that is May 16, 2013 and that constitutes the Final-Start Line-up of the race.
Two Candidates Shake Up Iran’s Presidential Race as Last-Minute Entries.
By THOMAS ERDBRINK
Published, The New York Times: May 11, 2013
TEHRAN — Iran’s presidential race entered a new, unpredictable phase on Saturday when two game-changing politicians, both out of favor with the country’s leaders, signed up as candidates in the final minutes of a five-day registration period. Their candidacies must still be approved.
Related: Prospect of Iran’s Election Stirs Little Hope This Time Around (May 9, 2013
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a protégé of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was soundly defeated by Mr. Ahmadinejad in the 2005 election, arrived simultaneously at the Interior Ministry headquarters in the capital, Tehran, to register. The building was cordoned off by security forces restraining hundreds of people, who were shouting slogans in favor of and against Mr. Mashaei.
Both men had kept analysts wondering until the last minute whether they would participate in the elections, set for June 14. If their candidacies are approved by a council of conservative clerics and jurists — a hurdle that analysts say will not be easy — the men are virtually certain to shake up the campaign because they hold views that challenge Iran’s governing establishment, a loose alliance of conservative Shiite Muslim clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders who hold sway over the country’s judiciary, security forces, Parliament and state news media.
The men’s criticisms of those governing behind the scenes will undoubtedly appeal to Iran’s dissatisfied urban voters. But they also strongly oppose each other, setting the stage for a highly contested election if both men win approval to run.
Appearing at a news conference with Mr. Ahmadinejad after registering, Mr. Mashaei, 52, said he was set to continue Mr. Ahmadinejad’s international policies, seen by the West as confrontational, and his economic decisions, considered controversial. Mr. Mashaei represents a new generation of politicians, defined by the president, who seem determined to to oust older leaders from power. While once supported by Iran’s political establishment, Mr. Ahmadinejad and his team have now fallen out of favor, mostly because they have accumulated too much influence, analysts say. “Mashaei means Ahmadinejad and Ahmadinejad means Mashaei,” the president said at the news conference.
But Mr. Mashaei has been far more outspoken than his mentor on issues like personal freedoms, often stressing individual rights. He also organized a controversial conference in which a group of dancing women carried around the Koran, angering conservative clerics.
Mr. Rafsanjani, on the other hand, has cast himself as a pragmatist, calling for a more open society and better business relationships with the West. Mr. Rafsanjani, 80, a veteran of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, says Iran is in a “danger zone” because of the “amateurism” of the president and his team. A cleric himself, Mr. Rafsanjani has criticized traditionalist clerics and their supporters for trying to quash all dissenting voices.
Iran faces huge economic problems and continuing strain under international sanctions, and many ordinary citizens feel suffocated by a blanket of security procedures. But on Saturday, neither candidate came up with a plan to address those issues.
Mr. Rafsanjani did not talk to reporters, but has recently said he would bring in experienced managers to solve Iran’s problems.
Technically, all Iranians are free to participate in elections, but Iran’s powerful Guardian Council, which vets candidates, will decide by May 23 who will be allowed to run. “I think it is highly doubtful that Mr. Mashaei will be allowed to run,” said Amir Mohebbian, an analyst who is close to Iran’s highest leaders. “I hope we will not witness any street riots when that happens.”
Even if they pass muster, both men are likely to face heavy political resistance from Iran’s establishment as revenge for rewriting what seems to have been a prewritten script for the campaign, meant primarily to attract yes men.
The governing establishment has called Mr. Mashaei “deviant” because he believes that Muslims can have individual relationships with God instead of only through clerical intermediaries. Its leaders have also warned Mr. Rafsanjani not to run and called him a traitor, accusing him of supporting Iran’s two main opposition leaders during the 2009 elections.
Until Saturday, many ordinary Iranians had largely ignored the coming vote, partly because of their traumatic experiences in 2009, when many protested Mr. Ahmadinejad’s re-election victory as a fraud and were forced off the streets by security forces. With Mr. Mashaei and Mr. Rafsanjani both entering the race, that could change.
“This is very surprising,” said Taha, 26, a former engineering student, who, like others interviewed for this article, asked that his surname not be published. “I will support Mr. Rafsanjani. He can reform our system.”
Others said they would vote for Mr. Mashaei, who became controversial after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a decree in 2009 banning him from becoming vice president.
“He seems to be a man who can stand up against those who rule our country,” said Abbas, a taxi driver. “We want change.”
At his news conference, Mr. Mashaei apologized for arriving to register at the last minute but did not explain why, and did not take any questions. Mr. Rafsanjani reportedly waited in his house most of the day Saturday, to get permission from Ayatollah Khamenei to run. It is unclear whether permission was given.
In a sign of the tensions that will undoubtedly surface in the campaign, two fistfights erupted in the building’s pressroom after Mr. Mashaei and Mr. Ahmadinejad left.
In the first, after an opponent of Mr. Mashaei accused him of placing “pornographic statues” in Iranian parks, a supporter shoved all the press microphones off a table and started hitting another person. In the second, a reporter for the semiofficial Fars news agency fought with an unidentified man in a baseball cap. The police intervened, but no arrests were made, local news media reported.