TEHRAN, Apr. 02 (Press Shia) – Presidential election headquarters in the Interior Ministry has announced a time-frame for election process; campaign trail would not be legal a day before Election Day in May 19.

Would-be candidates in the 12th Presidential Elections could register beginning April 11 and the process will continue for 5 days. The qualified candidates will be announced after the Guardian Council gives a final list to the Ministry April 27-28.

Along with presidential elections, the 5th City and Village Council elections and mid-term Parliamentary elections will also be held in May 19.

The Principlists collectively has not yet come to a definitive candidate; however, in Reformist-Moderate camp, there is a general divide between circles who believe Mr. Rouhani would face a Principlist rival with success, securing a second term, and those who believe that a second or third candidate in the camp would do better in attracting votes to the camp. In the Principlist camp, speculations have been made that Mr. Ebrahim Raeisi, newly-appointed Guardian of the Astan Quds, as potential candidate who would sweep aside other minor names in the camp and appear to rival Rouhani’s public mandate, as the latter would canvass public support with his trump card of a nuclear deal which he believes has done much to the hard-hit economy.

In yet another camp close to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spectacular national activity has been on the air, with would-be candidates could only be Mr. Ahmadinejad’s men in the government, notably his aids and some cabinet ministers. Earlier in 2016, Leader of the Islamic Revolution implied that Mr. Ahmadinejad had better abandon his election plans, since it was not expedient for the system to see that former president runs for re-election after 2 consecutive terms. The likelihood of a Guardian Council’s rejection of the camp’s candidate, Hamid Baghaei is also high, since he has been convicted before and the camp had been the subject of much vilification by the circles close to the Establishment as Mr. Ahmadinejad had to face adverse criticism in his 2 final years as president reportedly for mismanagement of the economy, but more importantly for his audacity, seen by the observers as fool-hardy in opposing Mr. Heidar Moslehi, the Intelligence Minister of the time in his cabinet, an act which incited anger among the more conservative circles around the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

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