An electoral candidate who won a place on a city council in Iran has reportedly been barred from taking up the seat because she is too attractive.
During the polls in the city of Qazvin, 27-year-old Nina Siahkali Moradi received 10,000 votes, placing her 14th out of 163 candidates.
She was named as an “alternate member of the Council” - in effect, the first reserve. But when one of those ranked above her was selected as mayor and gave up his seat, Ms Moradi was disqualified and prevented from filling the vacancy.
A senior official in Qazvin was quoted in the Times to have explained the decision by saying: “We don’t want a catwalk model on the council.”
Those who opposed Ms Moradi’s candidacy say that she was only elected because of her beauty and youth, and there were reportedly complaints prior to polls that the behaviour of her supporters was not in keeping with the traditions of conservative Islam.
Nevertheless, and despite her calls for change under the slogan “Young Ideas for a Young Future”, Ms Moradi’s candidacy had been vetted and approved by Iran’s judiciary and intelligence services.
Mohammed Olaiyehfard, a legal expert in Qazvin, put this supposedly illegal contradiction in context: “If someone breaks the law during the election, the review board and election committee can review the individual’s actions. But when the results have been announced, they cannot nullify the results.
“For this reason, it is illegal for the election review board to disqualify someone who had initially been qualified to run and then later won the election. It seems that this is a pretext in order to create an obstacle in order for this individual to not be able to join the Qazvin City Council.”