Iran’s presidential election on Friday will determine who will lead the country’s civilian government. Here are the key points:
Who is running?
Among the four candidates, the hardline attorney general Ibrahim Raisi It seems to be the front runner based on relevant national opinion polls.
Abdolnaser Hemmati, the former governor of the Central Bank of Iran, appeared to represent the moderates in the campaign.
Also running for the election were former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei and current MP Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi.
In the three debates in the country, it appeared to be a two-person match, as the candidates were mainly aimed at Hemati and because they criticized that they had not become a member of the current President Hasan Rouhani’s government until recently.
Who won’t run?
Rouhani’s government reached 2015 Nuclear Agreement Together with the world’s major powers, the term of office is limited, and it is impossible to seek a four-year term.
The Guardianship Committee of Iran’s constitutional monitoring agency, which is responsible for approving candidates, also banned some well-known candidates from running for election this year.
Among them is Ali Larijani, a conservative former speaker who has found himself allied with Rouhani in recent years.
Also banned is former hardline President Ahmadinejad. Despite his opposition to the West, he was still popular during his tenure for his populist policies.
Although Larijani accepted being blocked, Ahmadinejad urged his supporters not to vote.
At the same time, women are still barred from running for elections, as are those who call for comprehensive changes in the country’s government.
What is the stake?
The President of Iran is responsible for overseeing the civil service of the government.
It is important for the president to formulate domestic policies, because after the then President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Iran from the Tehran nuclear agreement in 2018, Iran has been facing severe sanctions from the United States for many years.
During Rouhani’s administration, these economic problems caused protests across the country twice.
In the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Iran is also facing waves of new cases. The presidency also sets the tone for how Iran interacts with the wider world.
However, the winning candidate will be under the leadership of Iran’s supreme leader, who has the final say in all national affairs.
What power does the supreme leader have?
At the core of Iran’s complex power-sharing government established after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 is the supreme leader.
The supreme leader also served as the commander-in-chief of the country’s army and the powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force that also has huge economic assets throughout Iran.
A democratically elected clerical group of 88 members called the Expert Assembly appoints the supreme leader and can also dismiss one, although this has never happened.
Iran’s current supreme leader Ali Husseini Khamenei is 82 years old, and some analysts believe this may be the last election he has overseen.
So is Iran a democratic country?
Iran claims to be an Islamic Republic. It holds elections and elects representatives to pass laws and govern on behalf of its people, although the supreme leader has the final say in all national affairs.
However, the Guardianship Council banned most of Rouhani’s allies and reformers from participating in this election.
Those leading Iran’s green movement After Ahmadinejad’s controversial 2009 re-election, he was still under house arrest.
Iran does not allow international observers to monitor elections supervised by its Ministry of Interior.
The security forces that are only responsible to the top leaders also often arrest dual nationals, foreigners, and people connected to the West and conduct closed-door trials, using them as pawns in international negotiations.
As the head of the judiciary, Lai Xi has faced international criticism for these arrests.