Iran election overseers may bar former president

AP , Monday 20 May 2013

Iranian presidential hopeful Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani may be barred from running in upcoming elections for health reasons

Iran's election overseers say they will bar candidates who are physically weak from running in next month's presidential election, a clear nod toward a former president.

The entry of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 78, into the election race could reduce chances for conservatives loyal to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the 14 June vote.

Rafsanjani's opponents say he is too old to run the country. Iran's constitution does not set an age limit for presidential candidates.

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman of the Guardian Council, which vets election candidates, said Monday, "A person who is able to work only few hours a day can't be approved." His comments were carried by several Iranian news agencies.

The council is set to announce its decision on candidates on Tuesday.

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