Early presidential election in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Over four decades since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, thirteen elections have resulted in the direct election of 13 presidents by the people.

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[ Photo: Hadi Yazdi Aznaveh/ Unsplash]

Election is the manifestation of democracy, and several political entities expend every effort to present their legitimacy and acceptability by holding elections, incorporating people into political processes, and winning people’s votes.

Since its victory in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasised the pivotal role of people in the administration of the country. Over the past 45 years, it has consistently paid attention to elections and the maximal participation of people in the administration of the country.

The significance of elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran is such that, since the victory of the Islamic revolution 45 years ago, 41 general elections have been held, with Iranian people turning out at the ballot boxes to determine their destiny. On Friday, 28th June 2024, the nation of the Islamic Republic of Iran will attend the ballot boxes for the 42nd time to elect their 14th president, who will serve a four-year term at the helm of administration, steering the country from the presidential palace.

Holding 41 rounds of elections within the lifespan of the Islamic Republic of Iran highlights this important practice, averaging one election annually.

One of the exceptional aspects of democracy in the Islamic Republic of Iran is the first election held less than two months after the victory of the Islamic Republic on 1st April 1979.

After the fall of the royal regime and the Shah fleeing the country, the Iranian people, just 47 days after the victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 1st April 1979, appeared at the ballot boxes for the first time. Based on the proposal made by Imam Khomeini, the people participated in the referendum and voted “Yes” to the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

That general election recorded 99.2% participation of the people, 98.2% of whom voted “Yes” to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Thus, by direct vote, the people selected the desired political system of Iran.

No sooner had the Islamic Republic referendum been held than another general election, named the “Assembly for the Final Review of the Constitution,” was held on 3rd August 1979. Iranian people once again appeared at the ballot boxes to vote for their representatives to draft the constitution.

Once the Assembly of Constitutional Law Experts was elected, the relevant laws were drafted, and the third general election was held on 2nd and 3rd December 1979. This occasion saw the constitutional law put to a referendum, with people attending the ballot boxes to confer legitimacy on the constitutional law. Interestingly enough, all these events occurred less than 10 months after the victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Holding three rounds of general elections within one year of the installation of the Islamic Republic’s political system is indicative of the great ingenuity of the late founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his keen attention to the key role people play in the future of an Islamic republic.

More than four decades have passed since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during which thirteen presidential elections have been held, resulting in 13 presidents being elected by direct vote of the people at polling stations.

Holding 12 rounds of parliamentary elections, 6 rounds of Assembly of Experts elections, and 6 rounds of Urban and Rural Council elections, along with the attendance of Iranians at the ballot boxes and the election of their respective representatives to participate in the political structure, is indicative of the growth and progress of the Iranian people and the headway Iranian society has made towards religious democracy.

Elections in Iran bear such great significance that no election has been cancelled or postponed in the life of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even during the war of Iraq against Iran, despite cities and fronts being under constant fire, general elections were held.

Following the tragic helicopter crash on 19th April, which led to the martyrdom of the 13th president, the foreign minister, and other officials, the vice president was appointed as the acting president, assuming administrative duties. Article 131 of the constitutional law stipulates that in the case of the president’s death, a new election shall be held within 50 days. Therefore, an early presidential election is to be held on 28th June 2024.

The attendance of Iranians at the ballot boxes and their turnout at the election speak of Iranian unity. Such presence not only augments our national security but also fortifies the government, which derives its strength from the people’s vote, driving national objectives and administrative goals forward.

Once again, the great people of Iran will create an epic through their attendance and participation in the presidential election. From the people’s vote, a powerful government will emerge to administer the country on a large scale.

Alireza Delkhosh

Dr. Alireza Delkhosh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Sri Lanka.

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