On Friday May 19, Iranians will head to the polls to choose the members of City and Village Councils as well as their 12th president.
Although the presidential and city and village council elections are held on the same day, their campaign structures are very different from each other. Unlike presidential elections in Iran, the city and village councils' candidates have only 1 week for campaigning, prior to the Election Day. In the capital city Tehran, the 2 major political camps have both released lists of their approved candidates to the public. 21 candidates from each list will be competing for 21 seats total in the city councils.
The city and village councils were formed 20 years ago with the goal of addressing social, economic and cultural issues in cities and villages and to play a supervisory role when it comes to municipalities. Arguably, one of the biggest authorities or responsibilities of the city and village councils is choosing the mayor. This is especially important for cities like the capital Tehran. It merits a mention that to surprise of many, Tehran's mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf withdrew from the presidential race. This is at a time that he had made strong appearances in all presidential debates. In a statement, he said his withdrawal is in favor of Ebrahim Raisi, another Priniciplist candidate.