Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on former generals of the country’s military to stay out of politics. He made the call in the wake of the desire of a few former generals to run in the country’s June 16 presidential election. This was reported in a report in the Middle East Monitor on Monday. In his call, President Rouhani said, “Our military is responsible not only for the military, but also for not being involved in politics.”
He added that the mission of the members of the military is to protect the sovereignty of the nation and the government elected by the people.
The pro-reform coalition led by President Hassan Rouhani is concerned about the willingness of several former military officials to run in Iran’s upcoming presidential election. They fear the country could be ruled by a military government in the future.
However, there are no constitutional restrictions on former military officials contesting elections in Iran. Only members of the military are barred from participating in political activities in the country.
Iran’s pro-reform political coalition has not yet officially announced a candidate for this year’s election. Due to his two terms in office, President Rouhani will not be able to run for a third term under Iran’s electoral law.
The Syrian parliament has set May 26 as the date for the country’s presidential election. The country’s state news agency SANA reported on Sunday.
Applications for the presidential election will be accepted from Monday, the report said.
Those who wish to run in the election will have to apply to the country’s highest constitutional court by April 28, the report said.
The speaker of the Syrian parliament, Hamuda Sabbagh, said in a statement that Syrians living outside the country would be able to go to the Syrian embassies abroad on May 20 to cast their votes.
After the death of former Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad took over as the country’s president. However, he did not officially announce whether he would run again.
The new election comes amid ongoing military conflict in Syria. The election is taking place amid the country’s 40 percent territory being out of government control, the displacement of more than half of its citizens and the failure to reach an agreement between incumbent President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.
Parliament has ordered candidates to stay in Syria for at least 10 years at a time to run in the election. In addition, Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’ath party must have the approval of at least 35 members of parliament. As a result, there is no guarantee that the opposition will contest the election.
In the wake of the Arab Spring in March 2011, ordinary people took to the streets in various cities to demand the resignation of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The country is facing a protracted civil war if Bashar al-Assad seeks to quell the protests militarily.
Half of the country’s population has been displaced by the ten-year civil war. According to the United Nations, more than a million people have been displaced by the war.
At least 600,000 civilians have been killed in Syria’s 10-year war.