TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (Press Shia Agency) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution has communicated general policies on elections prepared with advice from Expediency Council.
Addressed to the Cabinet as executive branch of the government, the General Policies on Elections as called, the Policies touch all aspects of elections including the provisions of Article 110 of the Constitution.
The 18-point Policy has among its important issues the debated corruption cases during different elections the Leader himself had touched in an address. Early in the year, the murmurs of buying and selling votes and other sorts of election fraud in fringe provinces and constituencies became louder to which the Leader responded by recommending the authorities to seriously address the issue to exculpate the system of such blemishes.
The Policies also suggest even distribution of media and other types of campaign trail among the candidates. Iran’s state TV and radio broadcaster IRIB is the major source of disseminating individual candidates’ plans and agenda in any elections to which Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized in the 3rd point. Notable in the 4th point is the transparency in election financing and its sources and allowed and illegitimate sources of procurement of money by candidates, over which ‘strict supervision’ by the authorities is recommended, with no less important being the mechanisms of addressing the violations of the case.
The Policies touch upon measures taken by some candidates to defile the rivals and included defamation, providing illicit privileges to certain groups and role models to win their support, threatening the same groups to act according to demands of certain candidates, and any other measures which would jeopardize and expose national security of the country including fueling ethnic conflict and separatist sentiments.
In its 6th point, it strictly forbids receiving resources from foreign donors and organizations. Political parties and groups are addressed in the 9th point of Policies where the government and election authorities should work to provide frameworks and boundaries for legal activities in compliance with the rules of the Islamic Republic of Iran which would improve elections turnout, participation, and confidence in the Establishment.
The highly contested qualification of candidates by the Ministry of Intelligence and Guardian Council is also the issue of the 10th point of Policies; “general qualifications of candidates should emphasize personal merits as well as individual’s specific efficiencies and qualities according to the Constitution; the authorities should address the qualification according to the law and should provide cogent argumentation as to the qualification or disqualification of candidates in the time frame provided,” it said.
It also designates the Guardian Council the sole supervisory body over all aspects of elections and invests the Council with authority to annul elections and hear election complaints to secure high turnouts and protect the rights of the voters and candidates.
The executing body of elections (generally a body appointed by the government) is also invested with responsibilities and duties to protect the rights of the nation and to practice impartiality in all stages of elections. Still of importance is a general ban on participation of the military on elections within a general ban on government bodies which are in a position of strength and opportunity to illegally interfere in election process for the interests of certain candidates.