Iran bans former president Rouhani from running for Assembly of Experts

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

© APA | Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

# 24 January 2024 17:41 (UTC +04:00)

Iran's hardline Guardian Council has banned former pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani from standing again in an election in March for the Assembly of Experts, which appoints and can dismiss the supreme leader, state media said on Wednesday, APA reports citing Reuters.

The 88-member assembly, founded in 1982, supervises the most powerful authority but has rarely intervened directly in policy-making.

The 12-member Guardian Council, which oversees elections and legislation, disqualified 80% of candidates running for the assembly in its last election in 2016.

Moderate politicians have accused the Guardian Council of disqualifying rivals, and said that excluding candidates from the race undermines the vote's legitimacy.

A low turnout for the upcoming elections is expected, with Rouhani saying last week that the majority of people do not want to vote and that this will favour the ruling minority which relies on low turnout.

State media reported that only 30 mid-ranking moderate candidates have been qualified to stand for the 290-seat parliament. Around 12,000 hopefuls will run for parliament, state media reported.