Iran election watchdog defends decision to bar candidates

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Tehran (AFP) – Iran’s electoral watchdog on Wednesday defended its decision to disqualify thousands of candidates for a parliamentary election in two days, saying it was done in accordance with the law.

The Guardian Council, a powerful body that vets candidates for Iranian elections, also said it expected at least 50 percent of registered voters to turn out at Friday’s election.

Thousands of candidates, most of them moderates and reformists, have been barred from entering the race by the Council, which is dominated by ultra-conservatives.

But its spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee said the body was “neutral” in its dealings with all political camps.

“The Guardian Council follows the laws and regulations parliament has passed at different times,” Kadkhodaee…

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