Women Candidates Banned from Competing in Iran Election by Constitutional Body

Women - Iran Election
Photograph: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters

Women have been barred from competing in the upcoming Iranian presidential election, scheduled for June 14. The decision was passed down by Iran's Guardian Council, an organization responsible for interpreting the Iranian constitution as well as approving presidential candidates.

Speaking on behalf of the Guardian Council, clerical member Mohammed Yazdi announced the decision, implying that the law clearly disallows women from appearing on the ballot.

Opponents of the decision argue that there is ambiguity as to whether or not the constitution rules out women candidates. Reportedly, thirty women had registered to compete before the ruling was made.

The Guardian Council has been previously accused of handpicking candidates based on their Islamic credentials. For the 2009 Iranian election, 475 hopefuls had registered, of which only four were approved by the Council.

While an official list of candidates for this year's election will not be announced until Tuesday May 21, it is expected that only a handful of the 686 who registered will appear on the ballot.

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