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Many Iranians plan to boycott votes for a non-powerful president – Illinoisnewstoday.com

Many Iranians plan to boycott votes for a non-powerful president – Illinoisnewstoday.com

After the end of President Hassan Rouhani’s second term, Iran will go to polls on June 18 to elect a new president. But in countries where the Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guard Corps have more political, social and economic power than the President, many Iranians boycott votes and demand radical changes to the system. ..

After the end of President Hassan Rouhani’s second term, Iran will go to polls on June 18 to elect a new president. But in countries where the Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guard Corps have more political, social and economic power than the President, many Iranians boycott votes and demand radical changes to the system. ..

On June 18, Shahin Mohammadi * is confident that he will not go to the polls for his first election boycott. “I have always voted in all elections, but not this time,” said a 42-year-old Tehran resident in a telephone interview with France24. , And the country’s economic situation continues to deteriorate. Why should I make an effort to vote when the person I choose does nothing? “

Many Iranians, disappointed with President Hassan Rouhani’s second term power, have publicly stated that they intend to boycott the presidential election on June 18, this year. On social media, the hashtag “I have no way to vote“There is a trend towards the 2021 presidential election, and several Iranians have expressed a long list of complaints.

In early May, more than 230 Iranian activists signed an open letter requesting a boycott of elections. This was described as “formal” and called for a radical change in the country’s democratic system “to make unpopular organizations intolerable.”

For many Iranians, voting has long been a bad or bad choice. But this time, the majority of voters are rejecting such limited options. In the February 2020 legislative elections, in the final poll before the vote on June 18. Abstention was on record for 57 percent of voters..

To IranOnly candidates approved by the National Guardian Council can run for election. Rouhani was unable to run for reelection after his second term, and the inevitable fear that the Guardian Council would disqualify many moderate and reformist candidates surfaced again this year.

However, for the 2021 presidential election, many Iranians dig deeper into the causes of the country’s political upset, questioning the lack of power entrusted to the elected president of the Islamic Republic and his government. ..

The issue revealed that the leaked audio recording revealed that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javadzarif had complained that the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard had had a greater impact on Tehran’s foreign policy than he did. 4 Dominated the moon heading.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), founded after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, states that “also known as the Revolutionary Guard Corps” is “the army responsible for defending the ideals of the Islamic Republic and only responsible for the Supreme Leaders. I will bear, “explained Thierry Corville. Researcher at the Center for International Strategic Research (IRIS) in France.

Under the Iranian Constitution, the Supreme Leader holds most of the power of the state. “It is the Supreme Leader who decides the direction of the nation. The Iranian president, who is elected every four years, plays the same role as the prime minister,” said the history of Iran’s specialty in Brussels-based Etopia. The house Jonathan Pilon explained. Research center.

A lifelong elected supreme leader manages the military, police, and state media and appoints the head of the judicial system. He also selects six of the 12 Guardian Councils, the agency responsible for verifying presidential candidates. The other half is appointed by the judiciary, and the judiciary is also appointed by the Supreme Leader.

“There are some elements of Iran’s political life that are evolving, but everything is centered around the figure of the revolutionary leader,” Pilon said.

Rouhani “lacks courage” on social issues

President of Iran “The room for maneuver is not only limited by the Supreme Leader, but also by Parliament. Parliament can confirm the appointment of the minister and dismiss him at any time. Iranian parliamentarians also With the consent of the Supreme Leader, he expressed distrust of the president, “Piron explained.

The Iranian president has autonomy in domestic, economic and social policy, but has little or no say on security and judicial issues.

“The President of Iran is a guarantor of a certain number of rights and freedoms,” said Azadeh Kian of the University of Paris Didelot. “As a guarantor of the Constitution,” Rouhani works on more freedom and gender equality. He added that he should have been able to do it. “He founded the Ministry of Women’s Rights and promised to appoint a women’s minister, but he didn’t have the courage to do so and he often hides behind the discourse that” the Supreme Leader does not want. ” I didn’t do it. ” Kian is also the director of the Feminist and Gender Studies Center (Cedref) at the University of Paris.

Rouhani is considered “moderate” in Iran’s political spectrum, but has had to operate a conservative parliament since 2020. The Supreme Leader is known for his super-conservative position.

Economy by the Revolutionary Guard Corps

Economically, Iran has several “informal” officials who can help reduce the president’s power, according to Mr. Pilon.

“Today, the Revolutionary Guard Corps owns many companies, especially in the construction, infrastructure, transportation and airport sectors, which are quasi-national,” he said, working with the government in an informal position. Neither public nor private companies mentioned. “They escape the Islamic Republic’s president and tax control and benefit from their priority positions in bidding. They are believed to control 20 to 30 percent of the economy, but because it remains uncertain. It is still difficult to quantify the phenomenon. There are many networks and companies created at different levels without traceability. “

The Revolutionary Guard Corps also has its own “social security”. This is the legacy of the 1979 Revolution and enhances its autonomy.

IRGC, the ideological army defending the 1979 Revolutionary Guard Corps, or simply “Pasdaran” for many Iranians, played a role shortly after the birth of the Islamic Republic and during the Iran-Iraq War between 1980 and 1988. It was. However, since the 1990s, the Revolutionary Guard Corps has been deployed only in the economic and social sectors of the Iranian state.

“In the 2000s, [late former Iranian president] Hashemi Rafsanjani commits Iran to neoliberal policy. The state has opened up to private investment through a series of liberalization measures, which Pasdaran used to slip through the rift, “Piron explained.

Almighty religious foundation

The Revolutionary Guard Corps is not the only economic agent beyond the control of the Presidential Cabinet. In addition to Pasdaran, whose tentacles are widespread in the major economic sectors, Iran has other autonomous bodies such as Bonyad.

Bonyads (or “Foundation” in Persian) is an influential religious philanthropic trust that receives huge government grants.

These influential religious foundations have confiscated property after the revolution and billions from Shiite pilgrims such as Astan-e Quds-e Razavi, a bonyard who manages the Imamreza Shrine in the eastern city of Mashad, Iran. Manages Euro donations. ..

Hardline Attorney General Ebrahim Raisi, one of the leading candidates for the 2021 presidential election, previously ran Sir Imam Leather.

“Bonyad has some of the largest real estate holdings in the country and is partially tax exempt,” Pilon said. The most powerful of them, the Mostazafan Foundation (“Uninherited Foundation”) and the Astanekud Erazabi Foundation, manage hundreds of companies and manage construction, transportation, mining, tourism and food processing.

“These parastatals are difficult to regulate and encourage customerism and corruption,” explained Pilon. Rouhani and other presidents before him have tried to undertake tax-exempt bonyads in the past. However, the Revolutionary Guard Corps, cabinets, and other parastatals make up “more than 50% of the economy,” but are still the “Presidential Cabinet.”

President of overseas visit

In terms of foreign policy, the president’s team “intervenes from a distance.” A recent leak of Zarif’s comments, including a foreign minister criticizing the Revolutionary Guard’s rule, has highlighted a powerful force. According to Zarif, the Revolutionary Guard Corps has appointed Iranian ambassadors to strategic Middle Eastern countries in agreement with the Supreme Leader.

“The Foreign Minister is just an executor,” Pilon said. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Leader to decide whether to sign or reject an international agreement, such as a nuclear agreement. The latter then approves the president and his government to negotiate as needed.

On the other hand, it is the president of Iran who travels abroad. He is also the one who signs the treaty. “He is the face of the Iranian regime. This is an important role, especially Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, now 82, who is the most powerful man in the state of Iran,” said Pilon. It was.

Given Khamenei’s aging, the timing of this year’s presidential election is also important, according to Pilon. “We can certainly foresee that the future President of Iran will be the one who oversees the succession of the Supreme Leader during his mission.”

* Renamed to protect identity.

(This is the original translation of French)

First published on France24


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