Local Iranian elections to test Ahmadinejad

October 16, 2006 19:24

Candidates began registering Monday for local council elections - a December vote expected to be a first test of public approval for hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Any public dissatisfaction is likely to come from fellow hard-liners, unhappy with the economy and the way Ahmadinejad is running the government, and not from reformers. Some conservatives criticize the president as being strong on populist slogans but weak on achievement. The December 15 elections are also expected to revive the debate on the way Iran is run. All candidates for village and town councils will be vetted by the Guardian Council, a body of conservative clerics that disqualified numerous reformist candidates from the 2004 legislative elections, enabling hard-liners to win control of the parliament.

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