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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 12:10 GMT
Iran election blacklist revealed
Mohammad Reza Khatami
The president's brother has been barred from the polls
More than 2,500 reformist candidates have been barred from running in Iran's 20 February parliamentary elections.

The conservative Guardians Council, which vets election candidates, published its final list of those cleared to stand in the polls.

A ban was confirmed on 2,530 out of 8,157 entrants by the council, whose decisions sparked a political crisis.

About 80 sitting MPs, including President Khatami's brother, Reza Khatami, are among those disqualified.

Mr Khatami heads the largest pro-reform party in Iran, the Islamic Participation Front, which has said it will boycott the polls.

Other moderate reformist groups have said they will take part to try to prevent a right-wing monopoly.

Apathy

The unelected Guardians Council last month barred nearly half of the 8,200 candidates who wanted to run in the election.

IRAN'S REINS OF POWER
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: Appointed for life, overrides all other authorities
Guardians Council: Half chosen by Khamenei, responsible for vetting election candidates and laws
President Mohammad Khatami: Elected for four years, power can be circumscribed by clerics
Parliament: 290 members introduce and pass laws, subject to approval
It reinstated about 1,000 candidates last week following a rare intervention from Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

But three days ago, he ordered an end to complaints about the banning of the reformist candidates.

That dashed any final hopes of a delay to allow a resolution to the country's political row before the ballot.

President Khatami conceded defeat and agreed the vote could go ahead.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Tehran says the Iranian public have shown signs of apathy towards the elections even before the mass disqualifications and the general expectation is that the turnout may be poor.

The week-long election campaign is scheduled to start on Thursday.


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