Assemby of Experts Candidates
"Iran's Assembly of Experts is one of the country's most powerful institutions, as the 86-member body has the power to select and dismiss the country's supreme leader. But candidates for the upcoming assembly elections have to be approved by Iran's conservative Council of Guardians.
"The council has decided that only one-third of the hopefuls for the December 15 election meet the criteria to be candidates. Most importantly, it appears that reformists and fundamentalists are being kept out of the race in favor of traditionalists.
"The vetting of assembly candidates by the Council of Guardians represents a significant effort by traditionalists -- the generation that has ruled the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979 -- to fight back against a younger generation of fundamentalists that is symbolized by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his purported religious guide, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi...
"As the Guardians Council eliminated reformists and fundamentalists, it approved the qualifications of the traditional conservatives. Then it moved these candidates to constituencies where they would not face any competition, according to 'Ayande-yi No' on November 16...
"All potential candidates had to demonstrate the 'proper political inclination.' Fewer than half of the 396 applicants were accepted by the Guardians Council, but some incumbents were allowed to run even though they failed the ijtihad examination, with the Guardians Council arguing that Khomeini had previously approved their credentials.
"All of these restrictions and the limited number of candidates for the Assembly of Experts indicate that these will not be the most competitive of races, nor will campaigning for these important elections be dramatic. If the traditionalists retain their hold on the assembly they will have made a dent in the armor of the political machine of Ahmadinejad and his followers. This will undermine the illusion of fundamentalist inevitability, and it could motivate other political factions to participate in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections."
I would really like for the Hawkosphere to note the rigging of elections against Ahmadinejad.