State media reports from Iran say about 60 percent of the people who have applied to be candidates in Iran's February parliamentary elections have been rejected -- with most of those rejections involving reformists.
Siamak Rah-Peyk, a spokesman for Iran's Central Elections Supervising Committee, said on January 18 that only 4,700 of 12,000 registered candidates -- about 40 percent of the applicants -- had been approved.
The election committee depends upon the ruling of Iran's Guardians Council, a panel of conservative clerics and jurists, to determine which registered candidates are eligible.
Reformist parties are protesting against the rejections.
Reformist Hossein Marashi said 3,000 registered reformist candidates around the country had been rejected and only 30 had been approved to run for one of the 290 parliamentary seats.
He said that in Tehran, which sends 30 representatives to the parliament, only four reformist candidates had been approved.
Reports suggested that some candidates from the conservative camp have also been disqualified.
The hard-line Fars news agency said 37 current lawmakers, including 25 conservatives and hard-liners, have been banned from running in the February vote.
Iran’s vice president for legal affairs, Elham Aminzadeh, was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying that President Hassan Rohani would “negotiate” with the Guardians Council to defend the rights of the disqualified candidates “in case a mistake was made.”
Aminzadeh added that rejected candidates have 20 days to make a formal protest with the Guardians Council and appeal against their disqualification.
The council is expected to publish its final list of vetted candidates on February 4.
The election for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts will be held simultaneously on February 26.