The number of candidates registered in Iran’s upcoming parliamentary elections has dropped by 30 percent from previous elections.
The Interior Ministry announced that 5,395 candidates have registered for the March elections. Tehran has the most registered candidates, with Esfahan coming in second.
Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced that 4,967 of the registrants are men and 428 are women.
With the registration process now completed, the Guardian Council will begin determining the eligibility of the nominees.
In the past, reformists have accused the Guardian Council of showing bias in their work.
The Interior Minister attributed the drop in the number of nominees to the fact that a graduate degree is now a prerequisite for running, whereas an undergraduate degree was sufficient in previous elections.
In recent weeks, reformist groups have announced that they will not run in the elections in order to protest how the government treated reformists in the presidential elections of 2009. The reformist candidates disputed the outcome of those elections, which led to widespread demonstrations. The government cracked down on protesters and refused their demand for a recount. The two reformist candidates have been under house arrest for almost a year.