By Dr Ali chegeni
As we approach the 13th presidential elections in Iran, once again Iranians with great passion and enthusiasm are going through another democratic process to determine their future after carefully assessing the initiatives, promises and programs of the seven candidates. for the presidency who have deemed themselves qualified to stand in this important election.
Elections in Iran are the highest manifestation of public will in the socio-economic and political spheres and it is the most effective instrument for realizing the sovereignty of the Iranian people through a peaceful and participatory process. Therefore, every four years, Iranians elect a new President and members of Parliament (Majlis), Assembly of Experts and Local Councils to show accountability and uphold their legal rights for a better future.
Today, after 42 years since the beginning of the Islamic revolution, on average, one election per year has been held, which indicates the relevance of democracy in the country. This is of crucial importance, because the history of Iran, before the Islamic revolution of 1979, has never witnessed a historical moment when the Iranian people played a leading role in determining his destiny. Moreover, Iran is the only country in the region that has successfully and consistently held such elections on time and without delay, even during extraordinary situations such as natural disasters, pandemics and the imposed 8-year war on the over the past 4 decades.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to meet the aspirations of its people and to guard against despotism and foreign interventions, has developed a unique political system which consists of two major pillars of “Islamic identity” and ” values of the republic. In such a system which is rooted in Islamic teachings, lessons learned throughout history and resistance against notorious regimes and foreign occupation, the people could freely express their opinions on governance and change leadership in place in accordance with Islamic values. and democratic merits highly recognized and approved by its constitutional system.
The important point, in terms of domestic political stability in the country, is that rotation in government administrations and other decision-making bodies has always been through polls and the direct involvement of Iranian citizens and, interestingly, the result has always shocked foreign observers. . This shows how relevant the will of the people is in the Iranian political system.
As the 13th presidential elections in Iran are fast approaching, heated debates over good governance are taking place between candidates from different factions and affiliations, which have been reflected in several televised debates. This time, the overall call from the candidates focuses on the imperative of an inward-looking economy to ensure its sustained growth and development. As a result, there is much heated debate among Iranians about how the next president would and should address the issues facing the country, especially at a time when the nation has been the target of economic terrorism and sanctions. most severe unjust and inhumane acts imposed by the United States. on the Iranian people to punish them for their firmness on independence and the non-aligned path traced by the Islamic revolution.
Contrary to the skewed narrative about Iran’s domestic dynamics and regardless of the poll results, the ongoing debate over the best direction of the economy and other domestic and foreign policy issues indicate that thanks to the degree high level of democracy existing in the country, the debates are not restricted and the candidates question and discuss all aspects freely.
Now, thanks to a vibrant political system in Iran which is a source of strength and sustainability, it has been more than four decades since the people of Iran have stood steadfast in safeguarding the values and realizing the aspirations of the Islamic Revolution in the face of all hostilities and conspiracies orchestrated against them by those who were determined to break the will of the people and overthrow the Islamic establishment.
In summary, Iran has exercised a dynamic and unique political system for more than four decades after its establishment, manifested in regular and frequent elections with inclusive participation of its people. Whatever the outcome after the elections, the significant outcome would be the evolution of the dynamism of the political system in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
(Dr. Ali chegeni is Iran’s Ambassador to India)