Imam Khamenei urges Iranians to vote in upcoming presidential election
The Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Imam Ali Khamenei, has backed up the Constitutional Council against recent criticism of its disqualification of some presidential hopefuls.
During a meeting via video-link with members of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) on Thursday (May 27), the Leader said the Constitutional Council had carried out its duty.
“The respected Constitutional Council did what it had to do and what it deemed necessary to do as its duty, [and] determined the candidates,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader pointed to the criticisms that have been directed at the Constitutional Council and said the critical statements had been made with different motives. Some of the statements were made by people because they had real care for the people and concerns about a low participation in the election, he said, adding that some sides complained because their favorite candidate had not been approved.
Neither of those two groups can be found fault with, Ayatollah Khamenei said, explaining however that a third group of individuals were opposing the concept of the Constitutional Council altogether. “God will not have mercy on these people,” the Leader said.
Iran’s Interior Ministry released a list of approved presidential candidates — drawn up by the Constitutional Council after 10 days of vetting — on Tuesday. Several high-profile figures, including Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani — were not found qualified to run. That sparked criticism of the Council, mainly by the Reformist camp, which had intended to field Jahangiri as its top choice.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said he had written to Ayatollah Khamenei to express his grievances about the matter.
‘People aren’t concerned about names’
The Leader referred to the concerns about the low participation of the people in the forthcoming election and said he did not believe that people were concerned about names.
“Rather, the people are looking for an individual who has high managerial capabilities and firm will and performance to solve the country’s issues. And it doesn’t matter to people what title that person holds or which party he hails from. Of course, that may be important to the political factions, but not to the general populace,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader thanked all the individuals who nominated to run. “Many of these people undoubtedly entered the scene because they felt a responsibility [before the people].”
Furthermore, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “I have to doubly thank those whose qualification was not approved and was not ascertained by the Council and who reacted nobly. Some of them even encouraged people to participate in the election.”
The Leader said the fact that the Constitutional Council had not been able to ascertain the qualification of certain candidates did not mean that those individuals were not qualified — “they may even be highly qualified” — what it meant was that the Council had not been able to determine such a qualification based on its own recognition, reports, and the available tools.