Iranians vote on June 14 in a Presidential Election in which a successor to hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cannot run for a third term in office, will be chosen. Here are some key facts about the Islamic Republic and the main contenders in the election:
1. Over 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote to choose a new president.
2. In May, Iran’s Guardian Council vetted a pool of more than 600 applicants to shortlist eight candidates. Two of them pulled out later, leaving six candidates in the race.
3. The six candidates cleared by the Guardian Council (electoral watchdog) are former Iranian nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai, top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and former communication minister Mohammad Gharazi.
4. None of the candidates is a serious reformist who can pose a threat to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
5. To qualify, a candidate must be of Iranian origin and an Iranian citizen. Notably, the Guardian Council bars women from contesting the polls.
6. There are 60,000 polling stations across Iran.
7. If no candidate wins at least 50 percent plus one vote of all ballots cast, a runoff between the top two finishers is held on the first Friday after the poll outcome is declared.
8. The presidential term is four years.
9. Momentum has recently been building around moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani.
10. Under the leadership of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran faces a painful economic situation, thanks to international sanctions mainly over its nuclear program.
Compiled by: Kamna Arora