Leader Reminds Officials of Duty Toward Voters

Leader Reminds Officials of Duty Toward VotersLeader Reminds Officials of Duty Toward Voters

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called on officials to react responsibly to the trust of people who turned out in force in last month's elections for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts.

"People had a glorious performance in the polls. Now it is the turn of officials to carry out their duties," Ayatollah Khamenei was quoted as saying by IRNA.

"A 62% electoral turnout is very high, compared with other countries, including even the United States," he said.

Voters thronged polling stations across the country on Feb. 26 to choose their favorite candidates in the twin votes, which pitted conservatives against a coalition of reformists and pro-government moderates.

The conservative-dominated Guardians Council, an election vetting body that disqualified an overwhelming number of reformists among the overall 12,000 registered parliamentary nominees and 800 assembly hopefuls, drew criticism from domestic officials.

Speaking in a meeting with sitting members of the 88-seat assembly in Tehran on Thursday, the Leader said, "The Guardians Council performed well. Any problem regarding the council's job should be blamed on the law, which is to be reformed. It is a legal hitch to have to screen 12,000 candidates over 20 days and it should be corrected."

The Assembly of Experts is a clerical body in charge of selecting the leader and monitoring his performance.

Ayatollah Khamenei said he has been presented with unequivocal evidence indicating that westerners are plotting to gain a foothold in the country, particularly after the recent lifting of sanctions under last year's historic nuclear agreement with major powers, which has raised the prospects of an opening to the outside world.

"Based on clear evidence, arrogant powers and the United states plan to infiltrate into the country," he said.