Iran's election overseers removed potential wild-card candidates from the presidential race Tuesday, blocking a top aide of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a former president who revived hopes of reformers.
Their exclusion from the June 14 presidential ballot gives establishment-friendly candidates a clear path to succeed Ahmadinejad.... It also pushes moderate and opposition voices further to the margins....
The candidate-vetting group is called the Guardian Council.
Many US States have a similarly undemocratic system for choosing judges. A commission, unaccountable to the people and typically dominated by the state bar either outright or as a practical matter, approves a short list of candidates. The person who actually is accountable to the people, the governor, gets the same kind of lesser of evils (but not by much) choice that the people of Iran will get for their president.
The selection commission serves the same function as the Guardian Council. It makes sure that the Great Unwashed, through the person they elected, do not choose any candidates of insufficient ideological purity. The Orwellian name for this system is "merit selection."