News / Middle East

Iran's Ahmadinejad May Face Charges Over Election Appearance With Aide

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during ceremony to swear Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, April 19, 2013.Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during ceremony to swear Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, April 19, 2013.
x
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during ceremony to swear Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, April 19, 2013.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during ceremony to swear Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, April 19, 2013.
Reuters
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may face charges for accompanying an ally to register for the June presidential vote, the electoral watchdog said, in a possible move by rival conservative hardliners keen to pre-empt any challenge to Iran's clerical supreme leader.
 
After mass protests that followed the 2009 election, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may have looked to next month's vote to install a loyal conservative president but the surprise candidacies of two major independents could rewrite that script.
 
Both Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, former chief of staff to the populist Ahmadinejad, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, relative moderate and Iran's most prominent political grandee, are both seen as threats to Khamenei's authority.
 
The Guardian Council, a group of Islamic clerics and jurists who vet all election candidates, has assessed that Ahmadinejad violated the law in accompanying Mashaie when his ex-aide registered his candidacy on Saturday, Iranian media reported.
 
Iran's electoral statute forbids the use of state resources on behalf of or against any candidate, and bans individuals from supporting candidates in an official capacity.
 
Abbas Ali Kadkhodai, a spokesman for the Council, said it had unanimously agreed that "the ... actions of the president in introducing an individual as an election candidate constituted a violation and were criminal," according to Khabaronline, an Iranian news site.
 
"We reported the facts to the judiciary," Kadkhodai said.
 
Ahmadinejad's office denied the accusation, arguing that since the Guardian Council had not yet announced the list of final candidates, the campaign season had not formally begun.
 
Signal that Mashaie will be barred?
The Council's complaint against Ahmadinejad, who by law cannot run for a third term, could be a sign it will reject the candidacy of his nationalist protégé Mashaie when it publishes the final list of approved candidates later this month.
 
Indeed, the semi-official news agency Mehr quoted Kadkhodai as saying election violations could affect the vetting process, a hint that Mashaie could be disqualified.
 
But barring Mashaie could dramatically deepen the conflict between Ahmadinejad and the conservative establishment fervently loyal to Khamenei and the principles of the Islamic Republic.
 
And that would still leave Rafsanjani, who by himself could transform what had previously been shaping up as an electoral competition among conservatives close to Khamenei. Rafsanjani's relationship with Khamenei fell apart over his support for the losing reformist side in the 2009 election.
 
Ahmadinejad was once the favored presidential candidate of Khamenei's faithful who backed his re-election four years ago. But, after repeated challenges to Khamenei's authority, he has fallen from grace within the fractured conservative power structure of the Islamic Republic.
 
Khamenei personally intervened to prevent Mashaie becoming vice-president in 2009, driving home his disapproval of a man conservatives accuse of leading a "deviant" nationalist current bent on eroding the political predominance of Muslim clerics.
 
In a letter to the judiciary, some 150 parliamentarians said Ahmadinejad had violated the law, urging it to "investigate" the issue, according to Mehr news agency.
 
Photographs in the Iranian media showed Ahmadinejad and Mashaie gripping hands and making peace signs during the registration process at the Interior Ministry. Mashaie said the president had accompanied him on "a day off" from work.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid