Presidential candidate Sa’eed Jalili has emphasized the participatory role of citizens in governance, saying people should follow up closely — “like a shadow” — on the performance of the government so they can correct its mistakes and promote its job.
In an interview on Thursday (June 3), Jalili elaborated on the “shadow government” initiative that he put forward shortly after the presidential election in 2017, which was won by incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.
Back then, Jalili, a member of Iran’s Expediency Council, defined the “shadow government” as “a voice for the people to make demands from the sitting government in order to achieve a suitable situation.”
During the Thursday interview, Jalili said it was necessary for the people to get involved in running the country’s affairs together with the government.
“If we want to take a step, that will materialize only when the people and the government join forces,” the presidential candidate explained. “We need to devise a mechanism, under which the people oversee the government and trail it like a shadow in order to correct its mistakes and promote its good deeds.”
As a case in point, he referred to the country’s successful performance during the Iraq war of the 1980s, when the Iranian government and people worked hand in hand to defeat the regime of ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“During the Sacred Defense, the government paved the path and the people took the path,”
Jalili — who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2013, said the concept also exists in Western political systems, in which a party that loses the election turns into a “shadow government.”
He said he was active under a “shadow government” over the past eight years. “We would examine many topics, and whenever we drew a conclusion, we would offer the results to the government the soonest possible,” he said.