Iran Elections

Iranian presidential election 2021

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Iran in 2021. However, the elections can be held earlier under exceptional circumstances, such as the deposition, resignation or death of the president. It will be the thirteenth presidential election in Iran. Under the Iranian constitution, Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president, is ineligible to run for re-election as he was limited to two terms or 8 years in office.

The president of Iran is elected for a four years term that is renewable only once. It is the country’s highest directly elected official, the chief of the executive branch, and the second most important position after the Supreme Leader.

Any Iranian citizen born in Iran, believing in God and Islam, who has always been loyal to the Constitution, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic may register as a presidential candidate. An institution called the Election Monitoring Agency (EMA) and managed by the Guardian Council vets registered candidates and selects a handful to run in the election.

The voting age is 18.

The Guardian Council does not publicly announce the reason for rejections of particular candidates, although those reasons are explained to each candidate. Women who registered as candidates have been excluded from standing for election by the Guardian Council. “We have not rejected any woman due to being a woman”, spokesman of the Guardian Council said. He clarified that there is no obstacle to women’s registration in the elections.

Those approved by the Guardian Council are put to a public vote on the weekend. The winner is the candidate who receive 50%+1 votes. If no candidate receives enough votes another election will be held only between the two candidates with the most votes the following weekend.

Once the result is known, according to the constitution, the Supreme Leader must sign the decree of the elected president, and if he refuses to sign, the elected president will not have the presidency over the executive branch. Supreme Leaders of Iran have always signed the decree of the elected president hereunto. After that, according to the constitution, the elected president must oath in the inauguration in the Islamic Consultative Assembly to the members of parliament and members of the Guardian Council and the head of the Supreme Court that he will do his best to perform the duties.

Seyed Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim Raisi portrait 2019 1.jpg

Sayyid Ebrahim Raisol-Sadati (Persian: سید ابراهیم رئیس‌الساداتی‎; born 14 December 1960), commonly known as Ebrahim Raisi (Persian: ابراهیم رئیسی‎, is an Iranian conservative and principlist politician, Muslim Jurist and the current Chief Justice of Iran, having been appointed on 7 March 2019 by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He has served in several positions in Iran’s judicial system, such as Attorney General (2014 to 2016), and Deputy Chief Justice (2004 to 2014). He was also a Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran in the 1980s and 1990s. He was Custodian and Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi, a bonyad, from 2016 until 2019. He is also a member of the Assembly of Experts from South Khorasan Province, being elected for the first time in the 2006 election. He is the son-in-law of Mashhad Friday prayer leader and Grand Imam of Imam Reza shrine, Ahmad Alamolhoda.

Ultra-conservative Raisi is one of just seven contenders left in the race, including five conservatives, who have been authorised by the Iranian election control body to run for the presidential election on June 18.

After banning the candidacy of most prominent reformists on May 25, Iran’s Guardian Council seems to be offering victory on a platter to Raisi.

The council’s decision was initially endorsed by Khamenei, though he did backtrack somewhat last Friday by saying that some of the candidates rejected from this month’s presidential election had been “wronged” and unfairly maligned online. Despite this, the Guardian Council said its original decision to bar them still held.

Raisi was already the favourite, but now the reformist Iranian press is calling him the “unrivalled candidate”.

An unsuccessful candidate in the 2017 election against Hassan Rohani, Raisi is returning to the forefront of the Iranian political scene this time with new momentum behind him, strengthened by the 38 percent of votes he obtained during the previous election against the now-outgoing president.

Raisi is a trusted confidant of Khamenei, who was one of his seminary instructors. Although he wears a turban, Raisa is not an ayatollah, he is a Hujjat al-Islam, a lower rank of the Shiite clergy. He is also a sayyid – a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed in Shi’a Islam. This entitles him to wear the black turban, a popular distinction among the pious electorate.