Raisi’s Landslide Victory Could be Turning Point for Islamic Republic | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Raisi’s Landslide Victory Could be Turning Point for Islamic Republic

The landslide election of Ebrahim Raisi as 8th president of Iran could be a turning point for the Islamic Republic. The landslide victory for the ultra-conservative former chief justice and protege of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could lead to an overhaul of the framework put in place when the two-tier regime was established in 1979. This structure imposed powerful clerical institutions on elected presidents and parliaments.

The clerical institutions dominat3ed by the valayet-e-faqih, the “guardianship of the Islamic jurist”, i.e., the supreme leader, includes the 12-main appointed Guardian Council which vets all candidates for office, and the 88-member elected Assembly of experts which chooses the supreme leader. Vetted candidates of the latter body are popularly elected for eight-year terms.

While this body was originally empowered to debate and even reject candidates for the all-important post of supreme leader, the Assembly now rubber stamps whoever is chosen. Consequently, the rule of the clerics has been exercised by the appointed supreme leader, currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Guardian Council.

Ahead of previous presidential elections, the Guardian Council permitted prominent political figures and moderates to stand, but for last Friday’s poll only seven of nearly 600 potential candidates were qualified: Five conservatives and two low profile moderate/reformists. Only Raisi was widely recognised because, at Khamenei’s instigation, he ran in the 2017 presidential race and was roundly defeated by Hassan Rouhani who was standing for his second term. He took 57 per cent of the votes in a turn-out of 73 per cent. Raisi only took 38 per cent.

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