The Assembly of Experts and Concerns of Clergymen Assembly
Some days ago when the manifesto of the Clergymen Assembly regarding the election of the Assembly of Experts was published in newspapers, Mr Khatami called me. He is very sensitive about writing correctly. In the manifesto there were some trivial typing errors and it should have been edited. It was my fault. Mr Khatami had written the manifesto the day before that and had sent it to me via fax and I had to arrange it. Mr Khatami told me it is better that you give some explanations about the errors and this was my explanation!
It is good for those of you who follow politics to read the manifesto. It is mentioning some important points such as disapproving candidates based on personal tastes, non-participation of open-minded clerics, preventing cheatings and specially the political philosophy of this election, as a result of which the highest ranking official of the country i.e. the leader gets its legitimacy.
It is some days that electoral registration has started but since journalists were not allowed in, there is no exact information about the electoral candidates. I think the Clergymen Assembly has special problems in this election. The Assembly believed that due to different responsibilities of the leader as per the Constitution, experts of different fields should be present in the Assembly of Experts. This wish was ignored. Besides, the list presented by the Clergymen Assembly would be meaningful to people when different learned and open-minded Mujtahids (clerics) who believe in the kind of Islam that as Imam interpreted can tackle the present problems of the world, would be presented in the list. It was not difficult to find such clerics in the religious schools since they are many but the pieces of news regarding evaluating of candidates shows that we cannot be very hopeful that they are approved. In many cities where the candidates cannot be disapproved, implicit threats against them have already begun. Many of such Mujtahids find no reason to register for the election.
The Clergymen Assembly has also another problem. It invites many of great figures, but if their majorities are disapproved and very few of them like less than 20% in Tehran or other cities are approved, then can the Assembly offer a list? And will its supporter be ready to actively participate in the election in this situation?
Besides, when Mr. Khatami and Mr. Lari were themselves President and the Minister of Interior Affairs, although they did not believe that important cheatings happened, still they said that there were widespread breaches. Mr Karoobi believes that it is much more than breach. Now that supervising and executive bodies are from the same school of thought and the consultant to the President is appointed as the Deputy to the Interior Minister for the Political Affairs and the Head of the Election Headquarters as well, it is natural to be much more worried about the procedure of the election.
Taking the determining and influential role of the members of the Assembly of Experts in electing and supervising the performance of the highest ranking official as per the Constitutions into consideration, I do not judge in advance. Stating these concerns is to avoid such problems and former experiences are of course the main reasons for such worries.