February 13, 2018

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Rouhani suggests direct public vote to end political gridlock (Al Monitor, Feb. 13th, 2018)

Rouhani continued, "If we have differences on two issues, or the factions have differences, or they are fighting, bring the ballot box out and according to Article 59 of the constitution, whatever the people have decided, implement that. Our constitution has this capacity, and we must act within the capacity of our constitution." Rouhani's Twitter account also later tweeted this segment of the speech.

Rouhani, who has been opposed by the country's hard-liners and unelected officials since first taking office in 2013, has faced stiff resistance in introducing social and economic reforms, despite his re-election in 2017. His comments about a direct vote are an indirect criticism of the Guardian Council, a 12-member body that vets candidates who run in Iran's elections and vets laws passed by Iran's parliament. The supreme leader selects six members of the council. The other six are elected by parliament among nominees recommended by the head of the judiciary, who himself is appointed by the supreme leader.

Unlike the hard-liners in unelected positions, Rouhani and other moderates and Reformists have relied on elections to stay in power. This is why in earlier parts of the speech, Rouhani asked the Guardian Council to make participation and running in elections easier. "To protect the system and the revolution, we have no other path than the participation of the people. And if our revolution has remained, it is because of elections."

He continued, "We have to ease the path to elections for the people." Rouhani means the path to running as candidates, not necessarily voting, given that in Iran voting falls on a Friday, which is the equivalent of a Sunday in the United States.



Posted by at February 13, 2018 4:22 AM

  

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