Candidates’ registration offices for city and village councils closed on Sunday (March 26th) at 10 pm, while in some cities, including Tehran, citizens who arrived too late had to turn around. The election of these councils, to elect the mayor, to vote on the town council budget and to ensure their proper management, will take place on the same day as the presidential election on 19 May.

At the national level, according to official figures announced on Tuesday, of the 287,000 people registered, only 6.3 percent are women, Afzal-Abaad , in south-eastern Sistan-Baluchistan province, Recorded a record. In this village, ten people applied, all women.

The province of Sistan-Baluchistan, one of the most disadvantaged, conservative and traditional regions of Iran, has already experienced exceptions. The first female mayor, Samiyeh Balouchzehi (city of Kalat), the first woman governor, Homeira Rigi (city of Ghasrghand), and the second governor, Masoumeh Parandvar (the city of Damoun) were all named in Sistan-Baluchistan. They are all Sunni and Baluchi, belonging to religious and ethnic minorities known to be discriminated against and marginalized by the authorities, making these appointments all the more interesting.

To read on this blog: «  Iran: two women appointed governors in Sistan-Baluchistan  »

This participation in local political life can only testify to the desire of these women to improve the living conditions in this part of the country.

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However, candidates must be validated by a council made up of deputies from the region, which increases the candidates’ chances of voting in the presidential and legislative elections, where candidates are considered by the Council of Constitutional Guardians, Criteria are strict.

Candidates must be at least 25 years of age, have a clean criminal record, affirm their faith in the Constitution and the ” Velâyat -e faqih  “(the government of the learned), in force in Iran. In cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, but in smaller towns and villages the level required varies between the bachelor’s degree and the ability to read and write.

In Tehran, candidates reporters and firefighter

Tehran also has experienced candidates, to say the least, amazing. Among the participants are children of politicians, sports personalities, journalists and even the spokesman for Tehran firefighters, Jalal Maleki.

In a major fire in January, sixteen firefighters lost their lives, sparking criticism of the city’s management by Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the mayor of the capital.

The latter’s rival for the post of mayor of Tehran, the son of former deceased president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997), Mehdi, is also among the candidates.

The Iranian journalist Yashar Soltani, who initiated the disclosure of certain cases damaging Mr. Ghalibaf, also registered. In September 2016, he spent two months in detention before being released on bail.

In the city of Tehran, the number of candidates is 3,000, for 21 seats to be filled, against 31 in the last election in 2013, as a law has reduced the number of seats in some cities. The final list of all candidates for the councils of towns and villages will be announced on 22 April.