Sayyed Ebrahim Raeisi registers to run for president as ‘independent’

Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, who heads Iran’s Judiciary, has registered to officially run in the June 18 presidential election, shortly after announcing his candidacy as an “independent.”

Raeisi turned up at the Iranian Interior Ministry’s election headquarters in Tehran on Saturday, the last day of the registration process, to officially hand in his credentials and put his name down for the race.

“Seeing the living conditions of the people; the issues of unemployment, high prices, the people’s livelihood, and the economic situation are a major cause for concern,” the Judiciary chief said after signing up for the vote.

Raeisi said he would be running on a platform of fighting “corruption and incompetence,” and that he did not consider himself “a contender against political groups.”

In a statement earlier in the day, Raeisi — a figure largely associated with the Principlist camp — announced he was seeking to contest the key vote as an “independent” candidate with the aim of bringing about change in the country’s executive management.

“While respecting all the candidates and political groups, I have entered the scene… as an independent in order to bring about change in the country’s executive management and put up a relentless fight against poverty and corruption, humiliation and discrimination,” he said in the statement.

Raeisi said he had a good knowledge of the country’s challenges and problems besides its resources and capabilities, pledging efforts to help the nation in line with the “Second Step of the Revolution” statement issued in 2019 by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to Iran’s young generation.

Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, who heads Iran’s Judiciary, is at the Interior Ministry HQ to register his candidacy for presidential election, May 15, 2021. (Photo by Mehr)

He became a household name in Iran in 2017 when he ran as a Principlist candidate in the presidential election. He lost the vote to incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.

As the Judiciary chief, Raeisi has launched a widespread anti-corruption campaign. He has up laws to protect women against domestic violence.

Meanwhile, a number of other figures from the two Reformist and Principlist camps, including former cabinet ministers Abbas Akhoundi, Masoud Pezeshkian, and Shamseddin Hosseini, have so far appeared at the registration venue to file their applications.

Ex-lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian and former chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Ezzatollah Zarghami also put down their names for the key vote.

The registration process will come to an end at 18:00 local time later in the day.

Once hopefuls have registered, they will be subject to vetting by Iran’s Constitutional Council, a process that will take another five days. Iran’s 13th presidential election will be held on June 18.

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