Iranian City Council Candidate Loses Seat, Deemed Too Attractive for Politics

by Solange Castellar

Nina Siahkali Moradi, a 27-year-old architecture graduate student, recently won a seat on the Qazvin, Iran, City Council. Moradi received 10,000 votes, making her the fourteenth most popular of the 163 candidates that ran.  However, the electoral candidate has been barred from taking her seat because of her good looks.

Yep, I’m not making this stuff up; she was disqualified because of her looks.

Here we go again with more sexist crap. Let’s look at the clear evidence surrounding Moradi’s disqualification, shall we?

Moradi was originally named an “alternate member of the Council.” Ali Farazad, an official who is ranked above Moradi, was selected as mayor, but he gave up his council seat. Normally, Moradi would then have taken Farazad’s place, but Moradi was disqualified because she was deemed unable to fill the vacant seat.

Why, you ask? Apparently, she was excluded from the council because they didn’t want a “catwalk model on the council,” said a Qazvin senior official.

“Almost 10,000 people voted for me, and based on that, I should be the first alternate member of the City Council,” said Moradi, who had put together an impressive and high profile election campaign. 

To refute her statement, Qazvin parliament representative and review board member Seyed Reza Hossaini told IranWire, “[Moradi’s] votes have been nullified due to her disqualification, as the review board did not approve her credentials. We have told her the reason why she has been disqualified.” 

Here’s the funny thing: no one on the review board talked to Moradi about this decision. So basically, this disqualification is based off of pure bullshit, if you’d pardon my language.

Those who oppose Moradi’s claim to her seat go so far as to suggest that she was only elected because of her beauty and youth. They also believe that the behavior set by Moradi’s supporters did not support the traditions of conservative Islam.

The grad student’s slogan, which sounded pretty cool, was “Young Ideas for a Young Future.”  Having Moradi could have greatly helped the council with a take on the younger generation, but nope, that’s not possible now!

A Qazvin legal expert named Mohammed Olaiyahfard insists that that the review board “cannot nullify the results,” and that the board is deliberately setting up an obstacle for Moradi. “It is illegal for the election review board to disqualify someone who had initially been qualified to run and then later won the election,” says Olaiyahfard.

As of yet, Moradi still hasn’t officially been told why she was disqualified her seat on the Qazvin City Council. 

Some have compared Moradi’s experience to that of Parisa Tirsahar, a former City Council member also from Qazvin who was almost denied her seat as well. As Tirsahar fought her way through election officials who tried to sideline her, she was eventually given her seat on the City Council.

Thanks to The Independent and IranWire

Photo via The Independent

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