Home iran Iran’s Reformists Call For Delaying Parliamentary Elections

Iran’s Reformists Call For Delaying Parliamentary Elections

29
0

A politician in Iran says Reformists have offered ways out of the current political impasse to the President, such as delaying the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The managing editor of one of Iran’s leading reformist newspapers, Elias Hazrati revealed on Wednesday that in their meeting with President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday the Reformists urged him to delay the elections and renew the registration of candidates.

Most Reformist political groups did not name any candidates and their members refused to register as they were sulking with the government following large-scale banning of non-conservative candidates in the previous two election in 2020 and 2021. As a result, both the parliament and the executive branch are dominated by hardliners, who appear eager to monopolize power.

Iranian politician and former military officer Elias Hazrati

Meanwhile, the Reformists called on the government to endorse the qualifications of a majority of the 24,000 candidates who have registered their candidacy.

The other two demands by reformists were more general and not necessarily linked to the elections. They called on Raisi to take prompt measures to solve the country’s long-standing economic problems and to promote the status of the parliament (Majles). During recent years the government has side-lined the parliament and most key decisions, such as increasing the price of fuel, were made by the heads of the three government branches.

Hazrati pointed out that some reformist figures did not take part in the meeting with Raisi and some others, including Reform Front leader Azar Mansouri were not invited. In all, some 50 Reformist and conservative figures were invited and half of them were given the opportunity to speak during the meeting. Most of the Reformists who spoke at the meeting, explained their views about improving political participation.

The government remained silent about what was discussed at the meeting and the President’s Office’s news dissemination chief Mohammad Hassan Najmi announced on Wednesday that “Raisi did a favor to political activists to allow them to take part in a meeting with him.”

According to Hazrati, some of the conservative figures such Paydari Party leader Sadeq Mahsouli’s behavior at the meeting was confrontational and he and some others were trying to change the discussions to factional infighting. He also observed that Raisi himself mainly talked about his expectations from the media to promote the “government’s achievements.”

He said the main problem with the meeting was that it took place when the disqualifications of reformist candidates have been completed and apparently there is nothing that can be done to avert a political debacle. The final result of the vetting is likely to be announced during the coming week.

The move by hardliners to block others from parliament is expected to turn the election into a low-turnout event.

Despite the grievances partly discussed by Hazrati, Iran’s Reformists appear to settle for an arrangement that would give them the opportunity to form a small minority at the parliament.

A report on Rouydad24 website which called the next election “a loss for the reform camp,” not only suggested the formation of “an influential reformist minority” at the Majles, but also briefly introduced 20 reformist figure who could be the members of the Reformist Fraction at the Iranian parliament.

The list of the imaginary faction members include former vice President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, former lawmaker and government’s critic Ali Motahari, Massoud Pezeshkian whom the website called “The senator from Tabriz” after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei criticized the Interior Ministry for barring him from running, and former lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian the leader of a small reformist party called Mardom Salari (Democracy).

Interestingly, the qualifications of 12 of the 20- candidates suggested for membership in the Reform Fraction have been already rejected by the Interior Ministry.