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Will outstanding legal case prevent Ahmadinejad’s third term?

While Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s registration for the Iranian presidential election surprised many, an open legal case concerning him may prevent his running for a third term.

According to Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, the spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his former Vice President Hamid Baghaei still have open legal cases. During an April 16 press conference, Mohseni-Ejei did not talk about the nature of the case or what the charges are. Ahmadinejad shocked Iranians when he registered April 12 for the Iranian presidential election. He told reporters that his registration for a third term was in order to show support for Baghaei, who held a number of Cabinet positions during Ahmadinejad’s two terms in office.

Mohseni-Ejei added that having an open legal case does not preclude someone from becoming a candidate. All of the more than 1,600 candidates who registered to run in the presidential election will go through a vetting process by the hard-line Guardian Council. As an example, Mohseni-Ejei said that it’s possible some candidates may have committed a crime 20 years previous to their registration but have not done anything illegal since and these people would likely be allowed to run.

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