Election Season Over, Time to Address Problems

Futile attempts to invalidate the presidential vote could trigger a backlash from the people
Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri (2nd R) meets governor generals in Tehran on May 30.  Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri (2nd R) meets governor generals in Tehran on May 30.

A presidential hopeful who withdrew to support Hassan Rouhani's reelection bid earlier this month, recommended the president's opponents to accept defeat and help the government in addressing national challenges and meet popular demands.

"The era of competition and electoral speeches is over. People are struggling with serious problems and we should now try to find solutions to three problems," Es'haq Jahangiri told a gathering of governor generals on Monday, IRNA reported.

Senior conservatives, including their main representative in the presidential race, Ebrahim Raeisi, have accused Rouhani and his moderate government of electoral irregularities.

Raisi has sent a complaint to the Guardian Council, a 12-strong body comprised of clerics and jurists in charge of monitoring elections and verifying their results.

According to figures released by the Interior Ministry, the poll organizer, 41 million out of the 56-million-strong electorate cast ballots in the bitterly contested vote, meaning a solid 73% turnout.

Final tallies showed over 23 million voted for Rouhani, whose first term's economic record came under fierce criticism from conservative candidates and their media outlets.

Raeisi, who is a veteran judiciary official and current custodian of the Imam Reza (PBUH) holy shrine, lost by a wide margin with 15.7 million votes or 38% of the total ballots cast, against Rouhani's record 57%.

Raeisi sent a letter to Chairman of Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati on May 21 asking for a probe by the oversight body into what he claimed "infractions" before and during the vote.

Hours before the voting ended, Raeisi's campaign team had complained of "widespread electoral violations" and called for intervention by authorities. The Interior Ministry dismissed all the charges as unfounded.

Secretary general of the Combatant Clergy Association, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, also made similar allegations, prompting a warning from the Interior Ministry that such unhelpful claims could undermine the national security.  Jahangiri warned that futile attempts to invalidate the public vote would trigger a backlash from the people.

"Those who treat the people's vote inappropriately will certainly suffer the consequences of their behavior because people will remember their insulting ways."

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints