Ayatollah Khamenei

Ayatollah Khamenei Announces General Policies on Elections

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, announced the general policies on elections on the basis of Clause 1 of Article 110 of the Constitution and after consultation with the Expediency Council. The text of the policies was issued to the heads of the three branches of government and to the head of the Expediency Council. The following is the full text of the policies issued on October 15, 2016.


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

General Policies on Elections:

1. Determining electoral districts for the Islamic Consultative Majlis and the local Islamic councils on the basis of population and necessary circumstances in a way that maximum electoral justice is ensured and that people can gain information about candidates.
2. Holding parliamentary elections in two rounds in case the number of votes does not reach the legal limit in the first round. 
3. Helping candidates to have an equal share of resources in their electoral campaigns, resources such as the IRIB, cyberspace, other media, and governmental and public resources of the country.
4. Determining the amount and nature of expenditures and legal and prohibited electoral resources, clarifying the resources and expenses of electoral candidates and political parties and announcing this to organizations in charge, exercising supervision on this matter, and determining ways to deal with financial violations.
5. Imposing a ban on all kinds of damage, threats, bribery, deceptions and promises outside one’s legal powers, and on all kinds of actions that are against national security such as creating ethnic and denominational discord in electoral campaigns.
6. Banning the support and resources of foreigners – including financial and promotional resources – by candidates and parties and timely action by organizations in charge in case this happens.
7. Preventing electoral crimes and wrongdoings and every kind of action that is against the law, national interests, national unity and national security, and attending to this matter quickly and urgently particularly security, financial, and promotional crimes and actions taken to damage candidates.
8. Raising awareness, improving public education, promoting proper electoral behavior and institutionalizing it in public culture, determining the rules and regulations for a healthy political competition with the purpose of increasing the people’s well-informed and enthusiastic participation and presence and helping them to choose the most competent candidates.
9. Formulating the necessary rules for legal and dutiful activities of political parties and groups and individuals in the arena of elections on the basis of the principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran in a way that electoral competitions lead to an increase in well-informed participation, trust, stability and the power of the system.
10. Improving meritocracy by preparing the ground for it through electing the competent candidates on the level of the Islamic Republic of Iran who have appropriate characteristics in line with the relevant position. This should be done through:
   10.1. Determining in an exact manner the criteria, standards and general and specific qualifications that candidates should have on the basis of the Constitution and by highlighting academic and physical efficacy, and efficacy related to relevant responsibilities and commitment to Islam, to the Revolution, to the Islamic Republic and to the Constitution, particularly commitment to Wilayat-e Faqih and to moral-economic health.  
    10.2. Initial identification of candidates’ capabilities and appropriateness at the stage of registration by using proper and legal methods for every election.
   10.3. Careful examination and investigation to see if candidates have the necessary qualifications with an adequate amount of time for this task within the framework of the laws for every election. This should be done through inquiries from organizations in charge and they should answer in a timely and dutiful manner.
    10.4. Adopting the necessary measures to minimize the prohibition on the presence of employed candidates.
    10.5. Defining and announcing the necessary criteria and standards for determining political and religious personalities and the qualities that determine the managerial characteristics and skillfulness of presidential candidates. This shall be done by the Guardian Council.
11. Supervision of the Guardian Council on the procedures, various dimensions and phases of presidential, parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections including the final approval of candidates, attendance to complaints and validating or invalidating elections with the purpose of ensuring the health of elections, attracting maximum participation and safeguarding the rights of candidates and voters through:
   11.1. Formulating clear, time-bound and assuring rules and regulations and providing an opportunity for candidates or their representatives to be present at all stages.
    11.2. Giving a written response about the reasons for invalidating elections and disqualifying candidates if they ask for it.
12. Benefiting from new technologies in the direction of maximizing clarity, speed and health in collecting and counting the votes and in announcing the results.
13. Formulating necessary rules for ensuring that representatives carry out their responsibilities in a proper manner and observe the letter of oath, for preventing financial, economic and moral abuses and for adopting the necessary measures in case the elected individuals lose the criteria for being members of the Majlis.
14. Relative stability of electoral laws within the framework of general policies and reluctance to change them for a noteworthy period of time unless the necessity arises and under such circumstances, the changes should be ratified by at least two-thirds of the members of the Islamic Consultative Majlis.
15. Protecting the freedom and health of elections, safeguarding individuals’ freedom of choice, protecting the votes of the people as haq-ul-nas during legislation, supervision, implementation, and observing complete impartiality by officials in charge and confronting wrongdoers in an efficient manner. 
16. Prohibiting the entrance of the Armed Forces and the three branches of government including ministries and their affiliated organizations, intelligence and security organizations, and governmental and public institutes, associations and companies – in political and partisan arenas and in supporting candidates.
17. Holding presidential, parliamentary, Assembly of Experts and city and village councils elections by the Ministry of Interior and under the supervision of the central executive committee of elections – which is headed by the Minister of Interior. The members of this committee, its responsibilities and also the members and responsibilities of executive committees in all provinces and cities shall be determined by the law.
18. Synchronizing the date of public elections in a way that they are held at approximately two-year intervals and in a way that the phases and the execution of elections are organized in a similar and united manner as much as possible.