Government Promises Sound Elections

Government Promises Sound ElectionsGovernment Promises Sound Elections

President Hassan Rouhani said the government will closely monitor the upcoming elections for any irregularities and will ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

The president was speaking to reporters after registering for the Assembly of Experts election on Monday.

The next parliamentary vote is due to take place on February 26 concurrent with the Assembly of Experts election.

The registration process for the two elections started on Dec. 17 and Dec. 19 respectively and will run for six days.

Guardians Council, a top clerical body, is charged with vetting candidates and supervising elections.

"Our country is governed by the rule of law. The Guardians Council will certainly act within the law, as will the Interior Ministry and provincial officials," he said.

"Should there be, God forbid, any irregularity, it would face the government's strong response."

The assembly of 82 elected clerics is responsible for electing and supervising the Leader's performance.

Highlighting the importance of the assembly, Rouhani said the body is "key to the country's political stability and assures people that there will never be a [political] void."

"Under the rule of law, people of all religions and from any ethnic group will share a sense of cohesion and solidarity," he said, stressing the need for encouraging healthy competition among candidates.

The president noted that it is important to promote a representative democracy by giving everyone equal access to the opportunity to run for elections.

"Every competent individual should stand for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts votes. The composition of candidates matters to us," he said.

Rouhani called for the greater participation of women, saying, "The high number of women candidates is of vital importance to Iran's international image because the world will perceive the reality that nothing in Iran is done based on gender [discrimination], but everything is based on merit. So we expect all qualified women across the country to register for the elections."