After Raisi's funeral, Iran's focus turns to vote for successor

The elections next month has opened up the field to a broad range of hopefuls from all political parties


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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Tue 28 May 2024, 8:25 AM

After Iran mourned president Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a recent helicopter crash, the nation's focus turns to an election next month for his successor, with the conservative camp seeking support from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The lead-up to the early vote on June 28 has opened up the field to a broad range of hopefuls from all political parties. The big question for them is how many candidacies will survive the vetting process in the Islamic republic.

President Raisi, who had more than a year left of his first term, died on May 19 alongside his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six others when their helicopter crashed into a fog-shrouded mountainside.

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They were laid to rest in multi-day funeral rites drawing mass crowds of mourners.

The June vote will be held during a turbulent time, as the Gaza war rages between Israel and Hamas, and amid continued diplomatic tensions over Iran's nuclear programme.

Khamenei, who has the final say in all matters of state, has assigned Raisi's vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, 68, to assume interim duties for the next few weeks and organise the June election.

Among other hopefuls, former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was one of the first to announce his candidacy.

Other contenders include moderate former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and centrist Ali Larijani, who served as the speaker in parliament.

Ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has so far kept voters guessing and said he is "checking the conditions to decide whether to register".

Under Iran's election process, candidates will have several days to formally register, starting on May 30.

The final list, however, will depend on the outcome of the validation process by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council following a June 3 registration deadline.


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