Iran’s Rouhani Seeks Checks on Election-Vetting Body: IRNA

(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani asked his top aides and lawmakers to draft a bill revising the election-related powers of the Guardian Council, one of the Islamic Republic’s most powerful institutions, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Rouhani instructed his first vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, to work with his top legal advisers and parliamentarians to review the ability of the council -- a 12-member chamber of clerics and legal scholars -- to vet and disqualify potential candidates for elections, IRNA reported.

The move, which is likely to face resistance from other political factions and from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, comes after swathes of candidates, including allies of Rouhani, were disqualified from standing in the Feb. 21 parliamentary vote. Khamenei appoints half of the council’s members.

Last month Rouhani said the scale of the disqualifications, which include 90 sitting reformist lawmakers, undermined the validity of the election and would result in a single-party race. Earlier Wednesday, Khamenei criticized those who challenged the Guardian Council’s vetting process and urged all Iranians to participate in the vote.

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