Law of Guardian Council Supervision over Parliamentary Elections

The Law of the Guardian Council Supervision over Parliamentary [Majles] Elections


Legislated on 9/5/1365 [July 31, 1986]


Article 1

Before the start of the election, five individuals who are Muslim, informed, and trustworthy will be elected (as the ‘Central Council for Supervision of Elections’) by majority vote and introduced to the Interior Ministry.


Clause 1: Of the five members of the Central Council for Supervision, at least one person must be a member of the Guardian Council; the chairmanship of the council must be held by a member of the Guardian Council.


Clause 2: The meetings of the Supervisory Council are official with the attendance of two-thirds of the members.


Article 2

The ‘Central Council for Supervision of Elections’ can establish its operational headquarters in the Interior Ministry to carry out its assigned responsibilities; ‘Supervisory Councils’ of provinces and election districts may establish their operational headquarters in the provincial, county, or district governor’s offices.

Article 3

The Central Council for Supervision shall supervise the following: all stages and developments of the election; all initiatives of the Interior Ministry during elections; all executive committees; deciding the eligibility of candidates; and the proper progress of the election.

Article 4

The quality of supervision over the election will be evaluated according to the following:

A.      Via the Interior Ministry and its inspections.

B.      Via dispatching independent inspectors, if needed, to investigate complaints related to executive councils and officials of the Interior Ministry (Investigating election complaints as outlined in the Law of Parliamentary Elections shall be the responsibility of the ‘Executive Committee’ of the center of the election district).

C.      Via final review of complaints, files, and documents of the election.

D.     Via assigning a supervisor in all the councils involved in the elections.

Clause: ‘Supervisory Councils’ of the Guardian Council may seek assistance from government employees for supervision over the elections.

Article 5

The ‘Central Council for Supervision over Elections’ must establish in each province a central council made of five people with the qualifications indicated in articles 1 and 2 for supervision of the elections in that province.

Provincial ‘Executive Committees’ are required to inform the mentioned [Central Council] of the development of all affairs of the elections in that province. The opinions of this council regarding all aspects of the election are final, except the following

1.Annulment or suspension of the entire election in the election district.

2.Annulment or suspension of the election in voting stations that have a decisive role in the outcome of the election.

3.  Disqualification of candidates for Parliament who must be validated by the ‘Central Committee for Supervision’.

Clause:  Disqualification will be announced to the candidate in confidentiality so that in case they appeal the disqualification, their disqualification is confirmed by the Guardian Council before the publication of the list of qualified candidates.

Article 6

With the approval of the ‘Central Council’, each ‘Provincial Supervisory Council’ must establish a council made up of three members who meet the conditions indicated in articles 1 and 2 for each election district to supervise the elections in that district.


Clause: In provinces where elections have been delayed or are possible in only one district, it is not necessary to establish a ‘Provincial Supervisory Council’ and the three-member council for supervision over that district will be selected by the ‘Central Council for Supervision over the Elections’.

Article 7

The three-person Supervisory Councils are required to select individuals that meet the conditions indicated in article 1 for supervision over peripheral election districts.

Article 8

During the entire time when the election is on-going, the Central Supervisory Council throughout the country, and the five-person council in provinces, and the three-person councils of election districts, will have complete [authority] to supervise the quality of the election; and in case they observe an abuse or violation, they must report it to governors and district governors. Based on the views of the indicated councils, they are required to take action to fix the defects based on the Law of Elections. If Interior Ministry officials do not enact their views, Supervisory Councils will report the details to the Guardian Council.

Article 9

The Central Supervisory Council must carefully review the Interior Ministry or Supervisory Councils’ reports on the election process, and issue an opinion, prior to receiving any complaints about deviations in the election process.

Article 10

The ‘Central Supervisory Council’ does not have the right to annul or suspend an election. It must only forward the evidence suggesting its invalidity or the necessity for its suspension to the Guardian Council so the Council can decide on annulling or suspending the election.

Article 11

The opinion of the Guardian Council regarding suspension or annulment of an election is final and must be implemented. Continuation of voting in districts where the Guardian Council has suspended the election, without announcing the decision of the Guardian Council, is not legally binding. Other than the Guardian Council, no authority or office has the right to annul or suspend an election.

Article 12

If the election results of one or several ballot boxes are not recognized by the three-member Council for Supervision over the election district to be consistent with the law, it will raise the issue along with the evidence, with the local executive committee via the provincial or district governor. If the indicated executive committee does not accept the views of the three-member Supervisory Council, the details will be forwarded to the five-member Provincial Council and the opinion of this council will be final and must be implemented. In cases where a Provincial Supervisory Council does not exit, it will be forwarded to the Central Supervisory Council.

Article 13

In all instances where each one of the Executive Committees is required to give their meeting notes or report the results of their actions to the Interior Ministry or governor or district governor, they must also give a copy to the three-member Supervisory Council. In cases where the law stipulates the need for the signature of the executive council, the signature of the Supervisory Council of the Guardian Council is also needed.

Article 14

The necessary budget for the supervision of the Guardian Council over the election will be withdrawn and paid from the budget for elections.

Article 15

At least one month prior to issuing the order for the elections in each election district, the Interior Ministry is required to inform the Guardian Council of the details.

Article 16

This law is effective from the date of legislation.

The above law contains 16 articles and 5 clauses and was legislated on the open session of Thursday afternoon, 9th of Mordad, 1365 [July 31, 1986], and was approved by the Guardian Council on 13/5/1365 [8/4/1986].

Speaker of the Parliament

Akbar Hashemi

Law of Incorporation of Several addenda to articles to the Law of Guardian Council Supervision over Parliamentary Elections (legislated on 7/31/1986) and the incorporation of one clause to article 20 of the Law of Parliamentary Elections (legislated on 11/28/1999) passed on 13/10/1378 [1/3/2000].


Article 1

The Guardian Council can place as many representatives as needed in each voting station based on the determination of the Central Supervisory Council of the election district.

Article 2

The voting ballot must also be stamped by the stamp of the Supervisory Council, and votes that do not contain this stamp will be counted as voided ballots and will not be counted as cast ballots.

Article 3

The voting papers shall have three sections:

1.      Section for registration of voter identification

2.      The special section for supervision.

3.      Voting Section

Article 4

The workers of voting stations and Guardian Council supervisors are jointly required to guard the different sections of the voting papers. After the vote count – if the number of cast votes in the ballot boxes is equal to the number of special section for supervision – they must draft the related meeting notes and present the votes of the people to the executive committee of the center of the election district. They must also present the Special Section for Supervision papers to the appropriate Supervisory Council of the Center of the Election District.

Clause: If the number of voting ballots does not match the number of the special section for supervision papers, the special section for supervision papers will be considered the correct vote count. In the presence of the voting station staff and the representative of the executive committee and supervisory council, the same number of vote ballots will be removed from the ballot box by lottery and not counted as part of the vote count.

Article 5

The potential financial strain of implementing this plan will be withdrawn and paid for from the budget allocation of elections. If not sufficient, they will be withdrawn from the funds delineated in line 503001 of the annual budget, “unanticipated ongoing costs” and other available resources.

Article 6

The following clause will be added as “clause 2 repeated” to article 20 of the Parliamentary Elections Law legislated on 7/9/1378 [11/28/1999]:

Clause 2 repeated: In order to facilitate the supervision and protection of the accurate votes of the people, and to prevent the violation of the candidates’ rights, if a candidate in an election district is unknown and anonymous to the general public (as determined by the Executive Committee or the Supervisory Council), but his last name or his first and last names are similar to the last name or the first and last names of one of the famous and distinguished candidates from that district, an identifier like a code number, place of residence, father’s name, or others must be assigned to him and published in the notice for the list of election candidates. Votes that don’t include the identifier will not be counted for him.

The indicated person can include the identifier in his election advertisements, and if he withdraws his candidacy during the campaign, the candidate with the same name may alleviate the confusion by publicizing his candidacy on the day before the election via newspapers or by press release.

Article 7

This law shall be effective five days after approval by the Guardian Council.

The above law, which includes 7 articles and 2 clauses, was legislated in the open session of Monday, 13th of Dey, 1378, [January 3rd, 2000] and was approved by the Guardian Council on 13/10/1378 [1/3/2000].

Speaker of the Parliament

Ali Akbar Natiq Nouri

Law: Inquiry into articles 11 and 13 of the Law of Guardian Council Supervision over Presidential and Parliamentary elections.


Regarding article 11 of the Law of Guardian Council Supervision over Presidential elections and article 13 of the Law of Guardian Council Supervision over Parliamentary Elections:

Does the meaning of the signature of supervisors imply an announcement of the presence of the supervisor during the period of vote-taking, or is the signature of the supervisor confirm the validity of the election process in the specific voting station? And if the voting process has a problem, does the monitor write down the violation under his signature?

Response by the Parliament

The signature of monitors is meant to confirm the process of voting and if there is a problem or violation, it will be written under the meeting notes. This confirmation does not contradict the supervision of the Guardian Council in the final review.

This law is effective from the date of being legislated.

The above law was legislated in the open session of the Parliament on May 30, 2001 and approved by the Guardian council on 5/30/2001.

Speaker of Parliament – Mahdi Karroubi

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