Iran’s presidential office dismisses Ahmadinejad’s law violation

Presidential hopeful Esfandiyar Rahim-Mashaei (R), accompanied by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attends a press conference after signing up for the presidential election in Tehran on May 11, 2013.

Iran’s presidential office has dismissed allegations that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad violated the election law by accompanying his former chief of staff, Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaei, to register for the upcoming presidential election.

In a statement published on Monday, Ahmadinejad’s office said the president’s decision to accompany Rahim-Mashaei should be interpreted as the right to freedom of expression.

It also said signing up for running in polls is not considered a propaganda campaign under the law.

Earlier, the Iranian president defended his actions, saying he took the last day of the official registration off to accompany Rahim-Mashaei to the Interior Ministry.

Ahmadinejad’s presence next to his former chief of staff has drawn harsh criticism from Iranian MPs as well as senior officials.

A group of Iranian legislators have filed a complaint with the judiciary against Ahmadinejad for the ‘illegal act’ of accompanying Rahim-Mashaei, his close ally, to sign up for the June 14 presidential election.

The lawmakers said Iran’s election law bans the use of state resources in favor of or against any candidate.

The Guardian Council, the top body overseeing elections, has also announced that the president’s act constitutes a violation of law.

The registration of hopefuls for Iran’s 11th presidential election began on Tuesday March 7 at Iran’s Interior Ministry and ended on Saturday March 11.

A total of 686 individuals signed up for the race.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election, and the Guardian Council vets the candidates to determine if they have the qualifications to serve as president.

By Press TV

 

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