Iran President could face 74 lashes

Ahmadinejad could face lashes or get six months in jail for breaking electoral rules by accompanying his chief of staff to register as a candidate in upcoming elections

After accompanying his former chief of staff to register for June’s presidential vote, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may face punishment if charged with breaking electoral rules.

In an off-guard moment, the Iranian president was caught apparently muttering to his aid and confidant that if questions were raised as to why he had accompanied him to the electoral registry, “tell them I’m on a day off work.”

Iranian electoral law bans individuals from supporting candidates in an official capacity, while the use of state resources on behalf of or against any candidate is also banned.

The Guardian Council complained about the president’s conduct on Sunday. Iran’s constitutional watchdog has said it might seek charges against Ahmadinejad.

The Council’s members said that public fund rules were broken when Ahmadinejad accompanied Mashaei to the election registration office.

The Guardian Council is charged with vetting all 680 hopeful presidential candidates, including Mashaei.

Ahmadinejad, who is constitutionally forbidden from running for a third term, has pushed hard for Mashaei to succeed him when the country heads to the polls on June 14 in a campaign his opponents claim has been funded with public money. The men have a close political bond, cemented by the marriage of their children.