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Originally published Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8:44 PM

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2 women announce plans to run for Iranian presidency

Even though it is unclear whether women are allowed to run, two Iranian women on Wednesday announced their candidacies for the presidency in elections on June 14.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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TEHRAN — Two Iranian women on Wednesday announced their candidacies for the presidency in elections on June 14.

The hopefuls are 45-year-old housewife Razieh Omidvar, a trained economist, and university professor Soraya Malekzadeh, also 45. Both told journalists in Tehran that their priority would be to combat astronomical inflation.

It is unclear, however, whether women are allowed to run in presidential polls as there are some ambiguities both in the constitution and election law.

According to the law, the person eligible to register as a presidential candidate should be a “rejal” — an Arabic term for both distinguished men as well as VIPs.

There have been numerous discussions on whether the term “rejal” could also be associated with women.

The deadline for candidates to register is Saturday.

Since registration opened Tuesday, more than 110 people signed up. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term.

Of the candidates who have so far registered, only the cleric Hassan Rowhani is being taken seriously. Rowhani is former chief negotiator for the country’s nuclear program and candidate of the reformist wing.

The candidates of the Interior Ministry’s conservative wing are expected to be announced by Saturday, among them former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati.

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