Iran: Parliamentary Election, 26 February 2016
At stake in this election:
- 86 seats in the Majles-e Khobragan Rahbari (Assembly of Experts for Leadership)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
- Head of Government: President Hassan Fereidun ROUHANI (since 3 August 2013)
- Assembly: Iran has a unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majles-e Shoraye Eslami) with 290 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- Members of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership are popularly elected every 8 years. All members of the Assembly of Experts are Islamic scholars and jurists, and they are Iran’s only constitutional body with the authority to appoint or dismiss the Supreme Leader.
Note: In Iran, although political parties exist, larger coalitions often more accurately reflect political organization and structure, with the primary divide being between principalists, who advocated for power of the supreme leader, and more progressive-minded reformists.
- The last election for the Assembly of Experts for Leadership was held in 2006. Elections normally occur every eight years, but this term was extended for two additional years to sync the elections of the Assembly of Experts with the Islamic Consultative Assembly elections in 2016.
Main candidates in the election:
- Over 800 candidates have registered to run for a seat in the Assembly of Experts, but as of February, only 166 applicants have had their candidacy approved.
- As noted above, the larger focus is not on political parties (although they do exist), but rather on whether or not the upcoming election will allow the moderates to retake more seats, or if the fundamentalists will retain control.
- Conservative Parties/Coalitions
- United Front of Principalists/Jabhah-e Muttahid-e Uṣūlgarāyān
- Front of Islamic Revolution Stability/Jebhe-ye Paydari
- Reformist Parties
- Executives of Construction Party/Hezb-e Motalefeh-ye Eslami
- Islamic Iran Participation Front/Jebheye Mosharekate Iran-e Eslaami
Note: Due to the purported illness of the supreme leader, the election of the Assembly of Experts could be especially critical this year, and in the event of Khamenei’s death, the ideological makeup of the Assembly of Experts could affect the selection of his successor and therefore have significant effects for the international community.
Population and number of registered voters:
· Population: 81,824,270 (July 2015 est.)
· Registered Voters: 50,483,192 (2013 est.)
· Female Population: 40,232,925
· Is Iran a signatory to CEDAW: No
· Has Iran ratified CEDAW: No
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 9 (3.1%)
· Human Development Index Position: 69 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Iran a signatory to CRPD: N/A
· Has Iran ratified CRPD: Yes (Accession, 23 October 2009)
· Population with a disability: 3,000,000