A few weeks before Iran’s presidential election, Qalibaf set up a registration website for entrepreneurs and job seekers, asking the unemployed people to sign up to receive monthly cash handouts as long as they find a job.
The website, however, was blocked on Sunday by the country’s judiciary, according to what the ICT ministry says.
The filtering came after Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli slammed Qalibaf’s move, calling it an illegal move by which he seeks to buy votes through enticement and bribery.
According to IFP, after Qalibaf, Tehran mayor, announced that creating five million jobs will be a priority of his administration in a televised interview, he said in case of winning the election, he plans to work towards that goal from the very first day of his term in office and, to that end, has already launched a website to register entrepreneurs and job seekers and established a database of their information.
The move by Qalibaf provoked immediate reaction from Rahmani Fazli who said, “The Interior Ministry’s legal department maintains that this is an illegal move. The move is, in a way, considered an effort to entice and bribe people [to vote for him] and, somehow, comes under the suspicion of buying and selling votes. We are pursuing the issue at the Interior Ministry and in case of arriving at any definite conclusion about its failure to be legitimate, we will announce it.”
In reaction to remarks by the minister of interior, Qalibaf’s presidential campaign headquarters issued a statement saying that making such remarks by Rahmani Fazli has been an unlawful act.
The statement also said Qalibaf will take legal action against the interior minister’s remarks.
The statement added according to the law, buying and selling votes as an illegal act applies to any attempt carried out to those ends on the day of election and in polling stations and does not concern candidates announcing their plans.
“As per the note 1 and 2 of the Article 33 of Iran’s Constitution, the interior minister is required to inform the Central Supervisory Board on 12th Presidential Elections and Iran prosecutor’s office of any probable electoral crimes and violations. Nothing has been mentioned about the public announcement of the violations and the interior minister or its respective minister doing interviews against the candidates.”
Another part of the statement said as per the articles 697 and 698 of the Islamic Penal Code of Iran (approved in 1996), the move by the interior minister is considered a crime, adding a complaint will be filed against him and submitted to related judicial authorities.