Law Clear on Function of Gov’t, GC in Elections

Law Clear on Function  of Gov’t, GC in ElectionsLaw Clear on Function  of Gov’t, GC in Elections

The president on Wednesday called on all bodies and officials involved in the upcoming parliamentary elections to remain committed to the principles of the Constitution and help ensure that competent candidates are elected through a democratic process.

Stressing that people from all walks of life should have equal access to contest the next legislative election due on February 26, 2016, Rouhani said, "No responsible and capable candidate, irrespective of their political persuasions and orientations, should be denied a place on the ballot."

He made the call in a meeting his ministers and governor generals in Tehran, IRNA reported.

The Guardians Council, a 12-member panel appointed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, is responsible for vetting candidates seeking public office and has the power to reject anyone it deems unfit.

Clarifying the role of important bodies in relation to the overall process of elections in the country, the president said, "The Guardians Council is an overseer not administrator... It is the government (executive branch) that administers the elections, while (the GC) monitors the process to ensure that no violation has taken place."

  Role of Eyes and Hands

On the key issue of distribution of power as enshrined in law, Rouhani said, "The GC is the eye, and eyes cannot do the work of the hand. Supervision and administrative responsibilities should not be confused. The Constitution must be upheld in its entirety."

Referring to the great opportunity for progress arisen from the July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), he told the high-profile meeting, "You have two grave responsibilities: removing the barriers to foreign investment and technology and holding a healthy election in which all the people will participate."

The government managed to safeguard the people's rights in and the ruling establishment's red lines by adopting a prudent approach with the help of  negotiating skills, despite beliefs by some that "the world can be forced to submit by using rhetoric and strong words," he said referring to the influential  domestic opponents of the nuclear accord and his administration who allege it falls far short of  preserving the country's interests.