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How Iran's supreme leader prepares for election day

The website for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published a number of fatwas about the elections.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has had to play a balancing act in his calls for a large election turnout for the Feb. 26 parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections. He has encouraged even those who do not accept the Islamic Republic system to show up to the ballot box. However, after the mass disqualification of candidates, he clarified those comments by saying that people who do not believe in the system should only vote, not run for office. In a series of fatwas, Khamenei has added another wrinkle to the elections: Those who vote should not turn in a blank vote if it will cause harm to the Islamic Republic.

Khamenei’s website published a number of religious-based questions regarding the elections that had been addressed to his office. The offices of many grand ayatollahs have websites where their followers can present questions on issues from daily routines to the existential and spiritual. The answers are considered fatwas by the ayatollah, and his followers are bound to follow it. While some of the questions and answers may not carry significant weight for those who are more secular minded, more traditional or religious families may continue to seek answers via this process.

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