Election Law

Feb., 2000
Word Count: 1467


  • The number of Majlis representatives (MPs) stands at 290 at present. During the last five terms, the number of representatives was 270.
  • Religious minorities have five representatives in the Majlis as follows: Zoroastrians one MP, Jews one MP, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians one MP together, Armenian Christians of the south (with Isfahan as their center) one MP, Armenian Christians of the north (with Tehran as their center) one MP.
  • The Council of Guardians (CG) is charged with supervision over the Majlis elections. This supervision is approbatory and general, which entails all the affairs of the election.
  • The election is held directly and with secret ballots
  • The election of an MP at the first stage, is subject to attainment of one fourth of the total number of votes and in the run-off, it is based on winning the relative majority (irrespective of the number of votes).
  • Casting of ballots in all polling stations shall take place on a holiday and within at least 10 hours; however, should the need arise, on the order of Minister of the Interior the time can be extended for two more hours.
  • The law enforcement officers are charged with the establishment of law and order within the clauses of the law and they should prevent any sort of disorder during the time of polling. They must also safeguard all the ballot boxes, but are not supposed to interfere in the execution and supervision of the election process.
  • The following votes shall be considered null and void with the verification of the Supervisory Board at the election district:
    1. Illegible ballots
    2. Ballots acquired through transactions
    3. Ballots containing names other than the approved candidates
    4. Blank ballots cast in ballot boxes
    5. Ballots cast in boxes lacking election seals
    6. Extra ballots in excess of the miscellaneous ones
    7. Ballots cast by under-aged
    8. Ballots cast on the submission of birth certificates of deceased, non-Iranians or other persons, or forged birth certificates
    9. Ballots acquired through fraudulence
    10. Ballots acquired by the same individual on repeated accounts
    11. Ballots lacking election seal
    12. Ballots acquired through intimidation and duress
    13. Ballots obtained on non-standard election slips

  • The voters must have the following qualifications:
    1. Citizenship of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)
    2. Being sixteen years of age (full)
    3. Being completely sane

  • Candidates must have the following qualifications at the time of registration:
    1. Full belief and commitment to Islam and the sacred system of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    2. IRI citizenship
    3. Showing practical allegiance to the Constitution and the progressive principle of the absolute rule of the Supreme Jurisprudence (velayate faqih)
    4. Having at least the academic degree of Associate Diploma or its equivalent
    5. Being free from ill reputation in the election district
    6. Physical health to the extent of being blessed with vision, hearing and speech capabilities
    7. Minimum age 30 and maximum 75
    8. Religious minorities shall be exempt from practical allegiance to Islam but must be firm in commitment to their own religion

  • The following individuals shall be deprived of candidacy:
    1. Those who played an effective role in reinforcement of the principles of the past regime
    2. Big land owners who have uncultivated lands registered in their own names
    3. Organizational supporters and affiliates of political parties, organizations and groups whose illegitimacy has been declared and established by the concerned authorities
    4. Those individuals who have been convicted of subversive activities against the IRI
    5. Those convicted of apostasy in competent courts of law
    6. Those reputed to be corrupt and those who have displayed indecent acts
    7. Insane individuals and those for whom Article 49 of the Constitution is applicable (Article 49: The government shall be required to take wealth derived from usury, usurpation, bribery, embezzlement, theft, gambling, misuse of pious endowments, misuse of government contracts and transactions, sale of original Mawat (ownerless barren lands) and Mubahat (ownerless properties) centers of corruption and other illegitimate acts, and to return it to its rightful owner; in case the owner is not known, to return it to the Treasury. This provision shall be carried out by the government by examining, investigating and substantiating the proof in accordance with the provisions of Sharia (religious law).
    8. Those connected with the past regime such as members of the city and town councils and those affiliated to the Freemasonry organizations, the board of directors of the (former shah's) Rastakhiz (Resurrection) and Iran-e Novin (Modern Iran) parties and their active members, the representatives of the former Senate and National Assembly and the agents of Savak (secret intelligence service of the past regime)
    9. Convicts of traitorous acts, fraudulence, embezzlement, unlawful confiscation of other people's properties, and those convicted of financial misappropriations

  • Disqualification of the candidates for the Majlis must be based on the law and valid documents and evidences.
  • The candidates can personally or collectively introduce supervising representative(s) at the ballot taking districts. These individuals can report any violations to the Supervisory Boards in writing.
  • Preventing the presence of these individuals at the polls is forbidden and considered an offense
  • The election campaign activities of candidates shall start eight days prior to the ballot taking day and continue up to 24 hours before the same day
  • Candidates shall be barred from launching any election campaign activities on the IRIB (Radio/TV) or through Friday Prayers sermons or any other official or government channels
  • The press and publications belonging to government organizations shall not be allowed to engage in publicity acts for the candidates even through insertion of advertisements
  • The press and publications shall not be allowed to print advertisements or write against election candidates, otherwise candidates are entitled to issue their own reply within 18 hours after the date of the publication and the reply has to be published immediately. If the newspaper fails to be published, the reply must be printed in a similar publication at the expense of the former
  • The candidates and their supporters shall be strictly forbidden to make negative publicity against other candidates. They can only put forward their own merits. Any sort of libel and slander against other candidates is strictly forbidden. Those in violation shall be prosecuted.
  • Anybody committing the following violations shall be sentenced to punishments specified in the law:
    1. Transaction of votes
    2. Winning votes through submission of other people's birth certificates
    3. Intimidation or bribing of the concerned individuals during the election process
    4. Casting ballots with the submission of false or other people's birth certificates
    5. Casting ballots more than once by the same individual
    6. Recommendation of voting for a certain candidate by miscellaneous individuals present at the polling station
    7. Disruption in the election process
    8. Vote rigging, cheating during the process of ballot counting and in the ballot slips and minutes
    9. Displacement and manipulation or destruction of election documents
    10. Intimidation of voters or the officials at the polling station

  • Minister of the Interior is charged with the duty to submit the election report, whose authenticity has been verified by the Council of Guardians, to the Majlis at the inaugural session of the Parliament
Ratifications of Expediency Council on November 13, 1999
  • The disqualification of candidates must be communicated to them while the legal terms ascribed to and the reasons for disqualifying the candidates in question have been enumerated for them.
  • The legal documents and evidences must be declared to the disqualified candidate in writing.
  • In all cases, with the exception of the following 3 items, the reasons and evidences of disqualification must be put at the disposal of the disqualified candidate in writing:
    1. In cases where the reasons and evidences are directly related to indecent public behavior or defamation, if the candidate is insinuated, the reasons and evidences shall be verbally communicated to him/her in person. If the candidate decides to request the same in writing at the aforementioned session in his/her presence, the reasons and evidences shall be communicated to him/her in writing.
    2. If the reasons and evidences insinuate the honor of both the candidate in question and other individual(s), the reasons and evidences shall only be verbally communicated to the candidate in question in his/her presence
    3. If national security is involved, the reasons and evidences and the manner in which they are communicated to the candidate in question shall take place according to the decision reached at by a commission in which the Chief of the Joint Staff Command of the Armed Forces and the Minister of Information are members.

  • Those in charge of seeing to the complaints of the disqualified candidates are supposed to look precisely into the complaint and communicate the results to the candidate and the executives of the election.

    Front Page