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EDITORIAL: Parliamentary Elections, the Peak of the Iranian Regime’s Crises

Editorial: Parliamentary Elections, the Peak of the Iranian Regime's Crises

The Iranian regime’s parliamentary elections will be held on February 21, and has become the deepest crisis of the mullahs’ regime since the uprisings of November 2019 and January 2020.

Written by Staff Writer on 11 February 2020.

The Iranian regime’s parliamentary elections will be held on February 21, 2020. This election farce has become the deepest crisis of the mullahs’ regime since the uprisings of November 2019 and January 2020.

Elections are an integral part of a democratic system, but in the clerical regime, elections equate to a power struggle within the regime and between the most loyalists of the regime for a greater share of power.

To better understand how the mullahs’ election is going to proceed and why this year’s election has triggered such a crisis for the regime, let’s first look at the regime’s election codes.

Any candidate seeking to take part in parliamentary elections must meet at least 15 conditions. According to the regime’s electoral law, two of these conditions are: “Practical obligation to the Islamic revolution and the sacred state of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and “Pledging full allegiance to the constitution and the Velayat-e Faqihprinciple,” referring to the absolute rule of the Supreme Leader.

If any candidate does not accept the fascist and dictatorial Velayat-e Faqih principle and is not fully loyal to the supreme leader, they will be disqualified. And even if they do accept this principle, this is just the first step, and the Guardian Council needs to confirm each candidate. A candidate, despite meeting these two conditions, may still be disqualified. Based on an investigative analysis of a regime’s expert at least 80 percent of Iranian people lack the qualifications mentioned in the law. Therefore, in the clerical regime, the law is equivalent to dictatorship.

The 12-member Guardian Council is comprised of six members directly appointed by the Supreme Leader. The six remaining members are appointed by the head of the judiciary, who himself is appointed by the Supreme Leader, and need parliamentary confirmation. As a result, the Guardian Council is comprised of 12 individuals highly loyal to the Supreme Leader.

In other words, the Guardian Council is the Supreme Leader’s tool to specify which candidates of his preference can take part in the parliamentary and presidential elections.

For the past 40 years, the clerical regime, by holding farce elections with huge rigging and declaring high turnout, has controlled the various factions of the regime in the power struggle on the one hand, and on the other, by pretending that the authorities are elected by the people, has obtained domestic and international legitimacy for itself.

This year, after the recent uprisings, the regime’s condition has become so critical that it cannot even maintain the closest loyalists, and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei intends to eliminate the other faction as much as he can and turn the parliament into a one faction body. This has turned the issue of the farce election into an unprecedented crisis for the regime.

According to state-run media, the Guardian Council has disqualified 90 sitting members of the parliament, some of whom have already served three terms. Candidates in 170 districts are only from Khamenei’s faction, and the main candidates of the rival faction in other districts have been eliminated such that ultimately 260 seats will automatically go to the faction most aligned with Khamenei.

In a speech on Wednesday, Khamenei presented his firm support for the Guardian Council, and it became clear that Khamenei intends to eliminate the other faction from the Parliament.

The regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, whose private consultations for his quota failed, described the election as “ceremonial” and a “selection process” (instead of an election) and criticized the Guardian Council. The opposing faction also targeted Rouhani, pointing out the current system is what previously ensured his “election,” and questioning why he had praised the Guardian Council at the time.

Subsequently, a day after Khamenei’s speech, Ibrahim Raisi, the head of the regime’s judiciary, threatened Rouhani and said: “Anyone who questions the electoral process, whether wittingly or not, whether they want to or not, by weakening the election process, will be in the enemy’s front.”

Immediately after Khamenei’s remarks, the media affiliated with both factions began attacking each other, a saga which has continued.

The regime is now faced with a dilemma of dying or committing suicide. But the supreme leader knows that the elimination of the other faction will inevitably acquire heavy costs, including that it will open a rift at the top of the system that could lead to social protests and an uprising.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), described the aggravating crisis and schism at the top of the regime over the election charade a manifest reflection of another deadly impasse the regime is facing. She said the complete purge of the rival faction’s candidates is a clear sign of the ruling religious fascism’s inevitable retrenchment in the face of the surging uprisings and the crisis of overthrow.

Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that the Iranian people have cast their true vote in the November 2019 and January 2020 uprisings with chants of “death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih, and death to Khamenei.” They will boycott the mullahs’ illegitimate election more than before. Boycotting this farce is a patriotic duty and the Iranian nation’s pledge to the martyrs of the Iranian people, especially the 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising. It also reflects the demands of the January 2020 uprising of the people and students for the overthrow of the illegitimate ruling theocracy in its entirety. The people and students chanted “death to Khamenei, death to the dictator, death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih, death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the [Supreme] Leader,” demonstrating that they want a future devoid of the Shah and the mullahs, and one based on democracy and people’s sovereignty.

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