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Iran's President welcomes results of municipal elections

Tehran, March 3, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami on Monday welcomed the results of the municipal elections and said that the people are the pivot of every democratic system of government and the Islamic culture respects the people's right.

Addressing a seminar on "Challenges and Prospects for Development in Iran", he said that Friday elections carried messages to the government.

The reformists had made up the majority of former Tehran city Council while none of the reformist candidates could win the people's votes for re-election due to the public grievances about the poor performance of Tehran's former city council.

"We should respect the people's vote, because they are present when a war takes place, they are present when their country is subjected to economic sanctions, so they are master of the community," he said.

"The people become disappointed with the government system when they see the system takes its own way separate from what the people demand and is unable to handle the state of affairs properly," he said.

The president complained that certain tribunes are magnifying the shortcomings and displaying a gloomy picture of the situation, something that is detrimental to the Islamic Republic.

"Poor performance, not heeding the law and bullying instead of imposing rule of law are the maladies for a community which will lead to public grievances," he said.

"Though the government may have weaknesses in its performance, great works have been done. But, unfortunately, certain tribunes are misleading the public opinion by offering a gloomy picture of the overall situation. So there remains no place for reform," he said.

"When the people become disappointed with democracy, there remains no alternative rather than dictatorship," the president said warning the people not to withhold support for his reform program.

"We don't believe that the opportunities are all lost. The people call on us to be careful, improve ourselves, so we have enough time to do so," he said.

He said that his government is now drawing up the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan (to take effect from the year 2005) adding that the fourth plan will help bolster the economy and will lead the country towards economic growth and social progress.

... Payvand News - 3/3/03 ... --

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