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74 candidates seek post of mayor of Tehran

TEHRAN, May 11 (AFP) - A total of 74 would-be candidates for mayor of Tehran have put their names forward for consideration, the chairman of the municipal council announced here Tuesday.

They are all hoping to replace the reformer Gholamhossein Karbaschi, who started a two-year jail sentence for corruption last week.

Council chairman, former interior minister Abdollah Nuri, said there were about 12 serious candidates, including former radical prime minister Mir Hossein Musav

i, and moderate deputy Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani.

The council, which was chosen during the country's first ever direct local elections in February, is made up of reformists. It can choose a mayor from outside its own membership, and is due to announce its decision in the next few days.

Karbaschi lost his job last year when he was charged with corruption and maladministration.

His trial has been condemned by reformers, who see it as a tactic by conservatives to weaken moderate President Mohammad Khatami, who came to power in 1997.

With the February election the system of selecting mayors was also changed. Instead of being appointed by the central authorities, it is now up to the elected council to make their own choice.


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