The head of Iran’s Election Headquarters has announced that 52 government officials have handed in their resignations in order to run as candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The Iranian Student News Agency reported Solat Mortazavi’s statement that all the resignations had been approved, including “four deputy governors, seven municipal chiefs, two prefects and 30 executive chiefs from various branches of the government and three members of the clergy.”

It has also been announced that 90 members of the Open University staff and 38 mayors and deputy mayors from across the country have stepped down in order to join the campaign race.

According to Iran’s election law, government officials who intend to run must resign six months in advance.

Iran’s conservative elite has been concerned that a so-called “deviant current” headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfanidar Rahim Mashai, is trying to take over Parliament in the coming elections.

The administration has been accused of misappropriating funds and using government money to secure votes. Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani, who is also head of the Guardian Council, has warned against government interference in the elections.