It is now three weeks before the elections for president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and 10 candidates have been announced by IRI as the runners.There has been a lot written about the religious apartheid of the Constitution of Islamic Republic and its Vali-e Faghih (VF) and Guardian Council (GC) which decides on who is eligible to run for office and I do not need to say more.


I want to look at this process as it is and see how people are even supposed to know their candidates.I mean, even the forerunner candidate, President Khatami, announced his candidacy less than two weeks ago (i.e. 5 weeks before the election) and the other candidates within a month or so.In other words this process means that a nation is supposed to evaluate the candidates of presidential office, in a couple of months, or the final selection, will also be done by VF and GC.


In any Republic, one expects a **primary** to precede any presidential election, by a year or more, when different political parties, would announce their candidates, and the final candidate of their party is elected by the members of their own parties, and finally the candidates of these parties compete in the final election.


In other words, the process of elimination of candidates for the office is basically done **not** basically by a body screening on the basis of meeting the minimum requirements of candidacy, but happens through people supporting political and economic programs of one candidate against the other.


In Iranís Islamic Republic, there are no primaries.In fact, there are not that many legal political parties either.I hope in a future democratic and future_oriented Republic of Iran, the primaries to be as important as the final election.


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher


May 16, 2001





* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on May 16, 2001



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