Cleric Outlines Criteria for Expediency Council Chairmanship

Cleric Outlines Criteria for  Expediency Council ChairmanshipCleric Outlines Criteria for  Expediency Council Chairmanship

A reformist politician described the criteria for picking the next chairman of the Expediency Council, who will replace its first and only chief, the late Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

"He should have vast revolutionary experience, be in contact with people, know their demands and have an excellent reputation. Besides, he should be non-partisan," Hojjatoleslam Rasoul Montajabnia, the former deputy chief of National Confidence Party, told IRNA on Sunday.

"Rafsanjani always acted as a non-partisan chairman. If chairmanship of the body is given to a partisan figure, the influential body would not be able to solve problems and will instead add to them."

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, the 82-year-old statesman with over 60 years of experience in politics, passed away from a heart attack on January 8.

On Tuesday, he was laid to rest south of Tehran in the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, after a glorious funeral procession in central Tehran attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners.

Established in 1988, the Expediency Council is tasked with advising the Leader and resolving disputes between parliament and the Guardians Council, which checks Majlis legislation in term of compliance with Islamic law and Iran's Constitution, and oversees elections.

   Backing Rouhani's Reelection

Montajabnia, who is still a senior member of the reformist camp, said the party, in line with other parties of the camp, will back the reelection of Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president, in the next presidential election.

The politician said although he believes the best option for reformists is Rouhani, they need to have some other options for a rainy day.

"But they don't need to name their other options, because it reduces the chance of Rouhani's victory," he said.

Rouhani won Iran's 2013 presidential race by securing just over 50% of the votes and avoiding the need for a runoff.

He has been silent on his candidacy in the upcoming election, but he is being regarded as a clear-cut contender, as no Iranian president has ever refused to run for reelection.

The next presidential election will be held on May 19, concurrent with city council votes, and its candidates can sign up from April 11 to 15.

Those who successfully pass the vetting process of the Guardians Council will have 20 days to mount their electoral campaigns, from April 28 to May 17.

Principlists are still weighing options for the presidential contest. They seem to have a tough job in creating a real challenge for Rouhani, as all Iranian presidents who finished their first term have been reelected.


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