Parliament’s New Proposal for the Candidacy of Religious Minorities in Council Elections
Parliament’s New Proposal for the Candidacy of...
The extensive efforts of members of Parliament and human rights NGOs to get the rights for religious minorities to run for town and city council elections has finally had a result and to urgent proposals entitled the amendment of the Formation, Duties and Elections of the Country’s Islamic Councils Law was ratified.
In the event of the ratification of this proposal in the Parliament’s open session, religious minorities in villages and cities in the country can register as candidates for the village and town Islamic council elections.
Since many Monotheist religious minorities live in various villages and towns in Iran, in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran and citizen’s rights principles, they have a right to give views on town managements and the recognition of their rights. The Formation, Duties and Elections of the Country’s Islamic Councils Law and Mayor Elections (1996) will be amended with new amendments and addendums.
In April 2007, a clause from article 26 of this Law was removed, which in a way prevented religious minorities from candidacy. Member of Parliament for Zoroastrians, Esfandyar Eftekhari believes that although in rejecting the candidacy of religious minorities has been associated to Imam Khomeini’s viewpoints, but the previous Leader of the Revolution [Khomeini] spoke plenty with regards to the unity of the word and the presence of religious minorities. For example, on 18 November 1982, in an audience with religious minorities representatives, Imam Khomeini said: “Iran belongs to all, and oneness of religion of all, and we are one nation, and this sentence is the heading of all our letters.”
The supporters of this proposal believe that this part of the law is not acceptable outside the framework of the Parliament, because if formatively if a law is to be removed or added, it must be done via the Parliament, because it is the custodian of legislation and if today the countries of the Middle East are engulfed in the flames of conflict, the subject of solidarity and national unity has turned into the Achilles Heel of all countries, and we too must pay attention to national unity and peaceful coexistence.
In its website Khaneh Mellat News Agency gave news that in the 26 November open session members of Parliament ratified the amendment of the Formation, Duties and Elections of the Country’s Islamic Councils Law through 154 votes for, 23 against and 10 abstains out of a total of 205 members present in the open session.