DUBAI, (Reuters) – Iran will hold presidential elections on June 14 next year, the Interior Ministry said on Friday, the first such vote since a violent crackdown on protests over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009.
The 2013 presidential vote is expected to be a contest between candidates representing Ahmadinejad’s allies and his more conservative opponents. Ahmadinejad himself cannot run for a third term due to a constitutional limit.
“The next presidential election will be held at the same time as municipal elections,” the official IRNA news agency said, citing the Interior Ministry.
Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election was followed by months of massive anti-government street protests, quelled by security forces. The opposition said the vote was rigged in Ahmadinejad’s favor, a charge dismissed by the authorities.
The two leading opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have been held incommunicado since February last year when the two called their supporters on to the streets for a rally in support of uprisings in the Arab world.
In a contest between conservative factions in parliamentary elections in March, loyalists of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei won the majority of seats, eroding Ahmadinejad’s authority.