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Iranian parties seek Khatami's help over poll ban review

The Second of Khordad Front in a letter to President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday urged him to see to it that the review of the disqualification of Majlis elections hopefuls is completed by Friday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The Coordination Council of the front has asked Khatami to finish the issue of the disqualifications by the end of the working hour on Thursday.

The council stressed that it had written the letter to President Khatami because of 'the limited time to make a decision and start elections campaigns'.

It further regretted that the disqualifications of candidates had seriously hurt the active participation of people at the polls.

The council stressed that the timetable of Majlis elections has been compiled by considering 'normal conditions', stressing that serious efforts are now needed to resolve the issue of mass disqualifications so as to hold the elections.

It stressed that the front will accordingly make a decision in its January 22 meeting toward efforts to correct the disqualifications.

The council further expressed hope that the conditions will such that the damage that has resulted from the 'imprudent disqualifications' of elections hopefuls would be minimized and it could arrive at a 'positive and collective decision'.

It further recalled the remarks by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urging the Guardian Council (GC) to review the disqualifications of the prospective candidates in the upcoming general election, and regretted that the GC had failed to notice those remarks.

The Second of Khordad Front comprises 18 political groups that was formed on November 13, 1999 to coordinate the positions of the groups that are in its favor.

The front includes such groups as the Assembly of Combatant Clerics, the House of Laborers, the Union of Followers of Imam's Path, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), the Executives of Construction Party, the Islamic Iran Solidarity Party and the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization (IRMO).

Clergies call for free elections

Qom, Jan 19, IRNA -- A number of clergies from Qom Seminary in a a statement issued here on Saturday reiterated the nation's demand for free elections without any illegal loopholes.

Representing the reformists, the group was intent on meeting the sit-in MPs, but failed to do so.

The reformist group from Qom came to Tehran on Friday to meet the MPs who are holding a sit-in in Majlis, but were not let in. Some of the sit-in MPs came out to meet them in front of Majlis.

The statement called on MPs not to give in to any clandestine deal and avoid risking the loss of the reputation and ideals of the reform movement given that it reflects the nation's expectations.

"A nation whose heart beats for you honestly call for your resistance up to the last moment and until a free election is held.

"We wish that threats or promises would not prompt you to quit, because in such a case not only the nation would abstain from voting for you, but would never pardon you," added the statement.

According to the statement, the clergies and jurisprudents from Qom Seminary reiterated their support for reform once more and hoped that God will help them.

The parliamentary elections are scheduled for February 20.

... Payvand News - 1/19/04 ... --

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