Ayatollah Montazeri argues that democracy is consistent with the spirit of Islam in the run up to the 2009 Presidential elections in Iran:

Religious Authority: 
Hossein-Ali Montazeri
Fatwa Question or Essay Title: 
Ayatollah Montazeri argues that democracy is consistent with the spirit of Islam in the run up to the 2009 Presidential elections in Iran:

The spirit of democracy implicates that governance emerges from the people's votes and in a free context. In the event of any discrepancies, priority should be given to the majority's demands. If the majority of a nation is follower of a certain religion (such as Iran where some 98 percent of the population are Muslims) the demand of the people is invariably having a religious government under the supervision of religion experts.

Therefore, in an environment where the majority of people are Muslims, inevitably democracy is consistent with religious governance. Meanwhile, no doubt, the rulers sometimes do unjustified things. This is of course not attributable to the religion, and people are entitled to express their disapproval of such acts.

[Note: For more opinions on this topic, search: democracy.]

بسمه تعالي با سلام و تحيت روح دموكراسي اين است كه حاكميت از ناحيه آراء ملت در محيط‏ ‏آزاد انتخاب شود. و در صورت اختلاف ، ملاك آراء اكثريت ملت باشد، پس‏ ‏اگر اكثريت مردم معتقد به دين خاص باشند طبعا خواست اكثريت ملت‏ ‏حكومت ديني و نظارت كارشناس ديني مي‎باشد. ‏ ‏پس در محيطي كه اكثريت مردم معتقد به اسلام باشند طبعا دموكراسي با‏ ‏حاكميت ديني هماهنگ مي‎باشد البته در اين ميان بسا حكام تندي هايي‏ ‏انجام مي‎دهند كه مربوط به دين نيست و طبعا مردم حق اعتراض دارند. والسلام عليكم و رحمة الله .