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Why did over 1,600 Iranians sign up to run for president?

Over 1,600 Iranians showed up at the Interior Ministry to register to run in the May 19 presidential election, fully aware that the Guardian Council will block their running.
An Iranian woman fills in her ballot during elections for the parliament and a leadership body called the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.  - RTX28SH7
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Over 1,600 Iranians showed up at the Interior Ministry April 11-15 to sign up to run in the May 19 presidential election. The majority were ordinary people, including some odd characters who — despite lacking political backgrounds or qualifications — registered their names enthusiastically. Some even traveled long distances to Tehran from their towns and villages, including a 92-year-old man and a shepherd.

But what are the motives behind these peculiar candidate registrations? Even if approved, would these individuals have been able to win the public’s vote? The most likely answer is no. Based on Article 115 of the Iranian Constitution, the president must be elected from among religious and political figures possessing the following qualifications: Iranian origin, Iranian nationality, administrative capacity and resourcefulness, a good past record, trustworthiness, piety and convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official religion of the country.

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