Election candidates are vetted by the powerful Guardian Council – a body that is essentially under the control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Of the twelve members, six were appointed by the Supreme Leader and the other six were appointed by the country’s head of the judiciary, who himself was personally appointed by the Supreme Leader.
If any potential candidates do not prove themselves to be wholly committed to the absolute rule of the mullahs they will simply be eliminated by the Guardian Council. If any potential candidates show any sign of being less than 100 percent committed to the Supreme Leader, they too are eliminated.
Because of the recent crises that the regime has been dealing with, both on the domestic front and on an international level, Khamenei is very worried about what the future holds. The regime’s discord and lack of cohesion over the past few years is fast becoming another crisis that is contributing to the regime’s difficulties, and the Supreme Leader is taking the current elections as an opportunity to move towards a more cohesive leadership. In other words, he is working towards eliminating the opposite faction from Parliament.
The people know that they are not being represented in the elections and this is why many Iranians have decided to boycott the polling stations. The people of Iran have been suffering under extreme suppression and their economic situation continues to decline because of decades of corruption and mismanagement.
The general consensus among the people of Iran is one of despair. When they voted for Hassan Rouhani several years ago, they really thought they were voting for moderation, progress, and change. However, the reality has been very different. Nothing has changed. Links with the West have not been restored and renewed. Iran has not advanced on any stage.
Young people, in particular, are keen to boycott the elections as a way of their “vote” being heard. There is no trust towards politicians and officials any more because previous promising candidates have been a let-down. Many young people feel that they have no opportunities and no prospects for the future as things stand now.
As well as everything becoming very uncertain on the domestic front, the people of Iran are faced with much uncertainty with regards to the rest of the world too. Tough economic sanctions imposed by the international community, including the United States, is affecting everyone. Military conflict has been a very real prospect in recent months and the people are sick of the uncertainty.
Their desires will be ignored through the election process, so the people are making their voices heard by boycotting the elections. It is their way of sending a message to the regime.