Comprehensive Election Law Explained

Comprehensive Election Law ExplainedComprehensive Election Law Explained

The spokesman of Iran's Interior Ministry outlined the main advantages of a draft bill on the comprehensive election law, saying it clarifies the financing of election campaigns and handling of violations.

In an interview with the Interior Ministry's website published on Tuesday, Salman Samani added that the bill has integrated various rules and articles related to elections and addressed complaints raised by election officials and government bodies about election procedures.

"Reforming the process of elections, eliminating unnecessary differences in the organizing of polls and reducing the cost of elections are some of the bill's benefits," he said.

Samani said a special committee for organizing election campaigns will be established for addressing violations, regulating publicity campaigns of candidates and monitoring their campaign spending.

  Ensuring Fairness

The spokesman said measures will be taken to ensure fairness to all candidates, prevent "dirty money" from entering the electoral races and pave the way for competent people to enter the election scene, such as "providing candidates with financial assistance for campaigns, increasing the role of parties and taking into account the managerial experience of candidates."

Samani said the campaigning period, which was one week for recent Majlis elections, will also increase under the bill, and the period allocated to reviewing credentials of candidates will also increase from 7 days to 20.

He said the bill has determined the responsibilities of various bodies involved in elections and how the candidates will be monitored and their violations will be addressed.

The Guardians Council is in charge of vetting candidates and supervising elections and the Interior Ministry is tasked with holding the polls.

The spokesman said the Interior Ministry's Election Headquarters, the election organizer, will be replaced by a "high election board".

According to the bill, the eligible people who want to cast their votes should sign up before an election.

Last Tuesday, Deputy Interior Minister for Political Affairs Mohammad Hossein Moqimi said the ministry had finalized the draft and sent it to the Cabinet after the approval of Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.    

After the government's consent, the bill will be sent to parliament. Last Month, Moqimi hoped the comprehensive law would be implemented by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2017).

The next presidential poll will be held on May 19, concurrent with the city council elections.