Secretary of Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati criticized President Rouhani over his remarks on the screening process of candidates for the upcoming Parliamentary election.
“In current circumstances, the country needs peace and hope and the president should not make such remarks that would cause concern and disappointment among the public and that enemies would take advantage of,” he said on Wednesday in the Guardian Council session.
“The Guardian Council neither benefits nor suffers any loss from the disqualification of candidates. The body is just implementing the law and does not differentiate between parties,” said Ayatollah Jannati.
The remarks came as President Rouhani had called on the Council to let candidates from different parties participate in the election. “The country cannot be managed by one party,” he had said. US officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, had reacted to the disqualification of some candidates in an apparent interference in Iran’s internal affairs.
Some 16,000 candidates enrolled for the upcoming election across the country. According to the law, the Guardian Council screens candidates’ qualifications. The first stage of reviewing the parliamentary hopefuls has been completed and those disqualified can appeal to the initial decision.
The 11th Iranian parliamentary election is scheduled for February 21, 2020. The upcoming elections will be held in over 200 constituencies across the country’s 31 provinces. The Iranian parliament has 290 members who are elected by the people for four-year terms.
Principalists and reformists are the two main parties competing for the seats of the Parliament.