Prosperity for Iran
(دولت برای ایران – dolat.io)
Chapter I: Framework for the Transition Process
Chapter II: Enforcement of Transitional Justice
The process to put in place a new government and draft a new Constitution is more important than the text and structure of the new Constitution. How democratic, transparent and value-based this process is, will determine to what extent the libertarian goals of the new Constitution will be reached.
Obviously, the framework for the transition process is meaningful once it is accepted by the people as well as political and civil society actors. For Iran, the way to achieve such acceptance is to present the frameworks desired by diverse groups and individuals to the general public, hold a public dialogue to criticize and comment on these frameworks. Ultimately, we need to use dialogue, engagement, bilateral and multilateral cooperation among key actors to reach an agreement.
We believe that any framework for the transition process that seeks support upon diverse groups should have the following characteristics:
i. Free: Recognize the pluralistic nature of political and civil activity in the transition period, and any person or group with any value base and inclination can present their proposed governance structure for public voting, and there is no precondition for debate about the future of Iran.
ii. Transparent: All activists who wish to participate in the transition process must be completely transparent about themselves, their desired values and positions on various issues, and must have formulated or selected a specific proposal for the new governance of Iran. The only acceptable limitation to prevent a group from presenting their proposal to a public vote is lack of transparency in the presentation of positions and values and the non-disclosure of the constitutional vision document by that group.
iii. Honesty and integrity: Groups must remain committed to their values and positions during the transition process and condemn any action that violates or undermines those values.
iv. Democratic: The leading individuals of the transition process and the members of the Constitutional Assembly must be elected directly or indirectly by the people.
v. Effective: The bureaucracy of the country and the economic and social conditions of the people should not be affected more than before and be managed by a specific trustee.
vi. People-centered: Instead of the Constitutional Assembly starting from scratch to draft a new document, the macro structure of the new constitution should be determined by the people in an election.
vii. Based on public discourse: The Constitutional Assembly should be given enough time to generate a comprehensive public dialogue and should not be put under pressure to reach a conclusion in a short period of time.
vii. Prepared for all scenarios: In all scenarios where the election is possible and the methodology is valid, even if the supporters of the existing constitution receive a majority vote in the election on the type of governance, there is still the possibility of amending the Constitution based on the opinion of a large minority. An efficient way out of political deadlocks should be foreseen.
Chapter I: The proposed framework for the activities of groups, parties and personalities until reaching the new Constitution (transition process)
i. Parties, individuals and groups publish their values, approaches and strategies in an organized manner, both for the transition period as well as for the desired future governance structure.
ii. These individuals and groups compile and publish their desired vision documents regarding the type and structure of the government and the constitution for the future of Iran.
iii. Individuals and groups fully answer the questions of Iranian citizens and other groups.
iv. According to its strategy, each group takes action to organize the supporters to meet the necessary conditions to reach the free elections of the type of government.
v. Groups have the opportunity to form coalitions based on their shared values and present a common constitutional vision document.
vi. At the time of the constitutional elections, any group or coalition whose governance vision document has been signed and endorsed by at least half a percent of the country’s population can put that document to public vote in the elections. Along with the constitutional vision document, an individual is introduced as a candidate for the position of the first head of state (president, prime minister, king, leader, or…) by each group to take responsibility for the transition process.
vii. Whichever vision document receives the majority of votes (if necessary in a second round) will be adopted as the basic draft of the new constitution and the designated individual associated with it will be the first head of the new state (hereafter referred to as the “first HoS”).
viii. The elected group and the first HoS will be in charge of ruling the country during the transition period and, if necessary, managing the process of drafting a new constitution on the basis of the proposal they specified prior to the elections. All state institutions will be formed and operate in accordance with the plan of the elected basic constitution during the transition period.
ix. The Constitutional Assembly consisting of sixty members that will determine the draft of the final constitution, will be formed as follows:
- Fifty percent of the members will be nominated by the entity that received the majority in the constitutional elections.
- Forty Five Percent of the members will be nominated by other groups in the constitutional election according to the proportional percentage of votes in the first round of the constitutional election.
- Five Percent on behalf of those who managed to collect at least Point one percent of signatures but could not participate in the constitutional elections.
x. As the first government will anyway work based on the interim constitutional vision document, the elected bodies in this temporary system will start working with the introduction of members by the first HoS and the approval of the Constitutional Assembly, so that the day-to-day affairs of the country are not disrupted.
xi. After reviewing and finalizing the constitution, the final document will be put to a referendum and will be approved by receiving a minimum two-thirds of the votes.
xii. Policymaking, management and supervision of all election processes will be done by the “Election Board” including one representative from each of the following civil institutions:
- Iran Bar Association
- Association of Writers
- Teachers Trade Union
- Cinema House
- Chamber of Guilds
- Worker’s House
- Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture
- Medical Council of Iran
- Society of Iranian Engineers
- Additionally, one representative from each group that had been able to clearly declare their position and proposed law and collect the required number of signatures, as non-voting members.
Note: The members introduced by the civil institutions must be known for having independent votes and cannot be government employees or have the reputation of being affiliated with government or the state or having had unconditional support for government positions. The decision in this regard will be made by the Election Board.
xiii. The representative of the Bar Association will be the head of the board and is responsible for the coordination and management of the board’s headquarters, but policies and decisions will be made by majority vote.
xiv. The Ministry of Interior will have the responsibility to provide all necessary facilities for holding elections to the Election Board.
xv. As soon as the conditions for holding the elections are in place, the Bar Association will introduce its representative. The representative of the Bar Association will ask other civil institutions mentioned in clause 12 above to nominate their representatives. The representatives of the mentioned civil institutions will be identified and the election committee will be formed. For one month, the representatives of the groups with constitutional vision documents will present their views in national and local media and collect signatures of endorsement. After authenticating the signatures and confirming the governance vision documents that can be put to the vote, a month of campaigning and debate will take place in the media according to the board’s plan. During these two months, the board will prepare the grounds for the election and then the election will be held. Should there be no interim government in place, the board will appoint a three-member council of politically active groups to manage the country until election day.
xvi. At most four years after the constitutional election, the new Constitution must have been approved by the people and the elections of all elected bodies must have been held. If the Constitution has not been approved two years after the election, the disputes will be put to a referendum, case by case. It is obvious that the general structure and principles approved by the people in the primary elections cannot be disputed.
Chapter II: The proposed policy framework regarding the persecution of the actions of former officials, individuals and groups before the constitutional elections (enforcement of justice)
In most cases in our long history, those who formed the new government took revenge on the previous rulers, negated everything that happened, and marginalized and in many cases executed people who had somehow cooperated with the previous government. It is high time that we attend to justice instead of taking revenge and seek truth instead of blood. Therefore, we propose a three-step process:
- Truth Seeking
The biggest mission of dealing with the actions of previous political and executive officials is to discover the exact and complete truth. In every incident that happened, every life that was taken and every blow that was inflicted on the people, it should be determined who knew, who encouraged, who made the decision and who opposed it. Who in the hierarchy of command approved the mentioned actions and who implemented them. How and when were these things done and what were the consequences of those decisions and actions.
The greatest debt of all previous actors to the people of Iran and to history is to reveal the truth. The Truth Seeking Commission (TSC) must discover the whole truth with effective organization in all areas and make it available to the public and the courts of history. By creating a public discourse, the TSC will determine the limits and scope of its discovery of facts and is committed not to sacrifice truth seeking for any political or emotional purpose.
The Constitutional Assembly will select the members of the Truth Seeking Commission from among lawyers, researchers and the elite in the field of law. The TSC will draft its adopted process including details such as the priority fields and categories of seeking the truth, distinguishing between different levels, individuals who will carry out the processes, and authorities that will be researched in the process. Once the TSC’s draft is approved by the Constitutional Assembly, the process will be enforceable.
- The Transitional Justice Document
This document will draft the philosophy and method of dealing with the crimes of officials and executives in the previous governments.
The Constitutional Assembly will select thirty prominent lawyers, judges, intellectuals and jurists of the country to form the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC). The members will be individuals who have the religious and psychological ability to implement the rule of law, i.e. they believe in respecting the fundamental rights of people, even if they are criminals, and can impartially determine benchmarks and punishments.
The TJC is obliged to explain and define justice within the framework of Iranian people’s litigation, to create a lesson for future generations, and also to establish a safe and acceptable environment that will stop the cycle of violence, and to specify the relevant punishments for different layers and cases of oppression.
The TSC shall formulate its adopted process, the areas of investigation and prosecution, and its work priorities within a month and submit it for approval to the Constitutional Assembly. It specifies the philosophy, functions and punishments necessary to execute transitional justice for all the past actors who have somehow been involved in harming the country and presents it to the Constitutional Assembly in a document called the Transitional Justice Document for approval. What crimes were based on ideology, what crimes were based on the law, what crimes were even outside the law of the time, who committed crimes out of compulsion, who could have prevented a crime but did not? Punishments will differ based on questions like who encouraged, who warned, who was a criminal in a team, but put effective pressure so that the crime was mitigated and whoever outside the governments requested or encouraged such injustices or effectively compromised with them etc. The TSC will deal with each of these categories and other complexities that may exist separately, determine their degree of importance, and finally determine the related punishment. Apart from the punishment, the TSC will determine how to compensate for the damages of those who had been wronged, to the extent possible.
For all the actors, officials and rulers who encouraged, caused and executed crimes or harmed the interests of the people, the nature of the crimes and the corresponding punishment should be determined clearly and prudently, but at the same time, it should be borne in mind how the social and cultural environment shaped such actors. The goal would be to identify how the legal and structural realities facilitated the occurrence and non-disclosure of such crimes in order to implement mechanisms that would prevent such crimes from happening in the future. Also, other aspects of transitional justice such as cases of defamation, threats and intimidation or negating the basic rights of people, especially by non-governmental entities, and methods of compensation for damages, should be determined.
- Formation of courts, proceedings and punishments (courts of history)
The courts to deal with the actions of previous officials and activists will start working after the approval of the Transitional Justice Document and after conducting full and non-rushed investigations. The prosecutor of the “courts of history” and how they function will be determined by the Constitutional Assembly. These courts hearings will be conducted in the presence of a jury selected from among ordinary people. After confirming or rejecting the crime by the jury, the judge will announce the verdict based on the principles and regulations contained in the Transitional Justice Document. The defendants can appeal the court decision in the TJC. The TSC’s decision will be binding.
A list of the main defendants will be put together, when the work of Constitutional Parliament commences. All necessary security requirements must be deployed in a way that no one can prevent these people from attending and responding to the truth seeking commission or preventing them from appearing in court until the end of the transitional justice period and a decision on final punishments.