Candidate registrations for Iran’s parliamentary elections hit record high

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A record number of people registered to become candidates in Iran’s parliamentary elections scheduled for March, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The elections will be the first since nationwide protests rocked the country last year.

Nearly 49,000 people filed paperwork seeking to run as candidates during a one-week registration period that ended on Sunday, the ministry website said.

That number is more than three times the 16,000 registrations filed in the last election in 2020, when voter turnout was its lowest since 1979, with just over 42% of eligible voters casting ballots.

There were no details on the registration of prominent political figures or pro-reform groups. The increase in filings was seen as a result of an easy online registration process.

Some 14% of submissions were from women, an increase from 12% in 2020. About 250 current members of the 290-seat parliament also registered.

Authorities in the coming weeks will verify the documents filed by would-be candidates. The monthslong vetting process will conclude in late October when verified hopefuls will be allowed to apply for candidacy. Each candidate must be approved by the Guardian Council, a 12-member clerical body, half of whom are directly appointed by the supreme leader.

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