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‘Election Violations’ Used Against Rouhani

Chairman of the Guardian Council Ahmad Jannati with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

The Chairman of the Guardian Council (GC) has accused some government organs of acting as campaign headquarters for a specific candidate in last May’s presidential election in Iran.

Ahmad Jannati has not elaborated further but declared that these violations have been listed and officially sent to the Justice Department. He also expressed hope that the outcome of the election finally leads to people’s benefit and welfare.

“During the May 19 election, some government organs were turned into campaign headquarters and all of their directors and deputies were serving a single candidate,” the Guardian Council website quoted Jannati as saying.

“I am wondering how indeed they are going to respond to the charges against them,” Jannati said and hoped that the Justice Department will properly prosecute them.

Although Jannati refrains from naming the presidential candidate he has in his mind but, apparently, his target is the incumbent president Hassan Rouhani.

We did not expect government bodies that were in charge of executing the law and election regulations would violate and break them.
Ahmad Jannati, Chairman of Iran Guardian Council accusing Hassan Rouhani's administration of using state resources in favor of the president's election campaign

In Iran, when the word government is mentioned, it usually means the president and the ministries under his authority, excluding the armed forces and some other state or semi-official organs.

Recently, media outfits close to the conservatives had also accused Rouhani’s government of illegal intervention and meddling in May 19 elections.

Jannati had also previously maintained that “Violating the election regulations from its financial and political angle was impressive” and “we did not expect government bodies that were in charge of executing the law and election regulations would violate and break them in a way that was evident and obvious for everybody.”

Nevertheless, the chairman of the Guardian Council at the same time had admitted, “I verify the election as a healthy one, and it was very good. Yet, based on a number of reports by the election supervisors and people, there had been some violations.”

The Guardian Council chairman, who is also the speaker of the Assembly of Experts, while reiterating that the GC’s position should be impartial, had implicitly praised Rouhani’s main challenger, Ebrahim Raeisi as to have allegedly kept the huge religious foundation he heads out of electioneering.

In retaliation, Rouhani and his allies have accused the entities under the Supreme Leader’s direct supervision, including the Islamic revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, Astan-e Qods (Imam Reza) financial empire, Islamic Republic’s National Radio and TV and the judiciary of interfering in the election in favor of the main challenger, Ebrahim Raesi who is the head of Astan-e Qods.

In his latest statement, Jannati noted that it is not suitable in the Islamic Republic to imitate the west and go for garnering more votes at any price.

Once again, he did not elaborate further but said, “Let us all pray for government’s success in its efforts and in serving the people”.

In the meantime, the GC chairman called Rouhani to “employ revolutionary forces in his next cabinet.”

Following Rouhani’s decisive victory in the May election, the barrage of direct or indirect criticism against him has significantly increased. The conservative entities under the Supreme Leader’s direct supervision, including the judiciary and IRGC have apparently joined forces to attack Rouhani and his government in a ceaseless orchestrated and systematic manner.

The volume of attacks on Rouhani has reached to a level that even some members of his conservative adversaries have called for restraint.

An influential conservative former MP, Alireza Zakani recently proposed declaring a unilateral ceasefire against the incumbent. The proposal supported by some other allies of the conservative faction has fallen on deaf ears, so far.

On the other side, Rouhani’s first deputy, Eshaq Jahangiri has called for respecting people’s votes and accepting the result of the election. It seems that his calls have also fallen on deaf ears.

Although the conservatives emphasize that they have accepted the outcome of the recent presidential election but they have practically intensified their pressure on Rouhani.

Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to besworn in on August 15. His new term of presidency should be formally ratified by the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei.