The country's governor generals, following an emergency meeting held on Wednesday evening at the Interior Ministry, announced that keeping in mind the current circumstances, the 7th Majlis (parliament) elections cannot be held on the previously announced February 20, IRNA reported from Tehran.
According to the Information Bureau of the Elections Headquarters of the Interior Ministry, after considering all aspects of the upcoming elections, the governors came up with the conclusion that even if the constitutional watchdog Guardians Council would announce the names of all qualified hopefuls on Jan 31, as previously scheduled, and no more objections will be observed, the February 20 deadline cannot be observed.
A more detailed account of the governor generals' emergency Wednesday meeting will follow.
Tehran province's seats in parliament left without contenders
Tehran province's Governor General Ai Akbar Rahmani said on Wednesday that the wholesale disqualification of candidates for the election has left 38 seats without contenders.
Out of 38 seats for Tehran province, there is minimum possibility of competition for only 14 seats and the remaining seats are being offered to the conservatives without contender.
He said that the government will not accept to hold election when there is no room for competition in the light of the crackdown on reformist candidates.
From those disqualifications revoked only 24 candidates are from Tehran province which is of no significance, he said.
Rahmani made it clear that the cabinet ministers and the governors general and the governors are serious in their resignation until the Guardian Council rectifies its illegal action.
Zanganeh says negotiations underway with GC
Minister of Oil Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Wednesday that negotiations are underway with the Guardian Council to overturn the disqualification of candidates from February 20 election. He did not give details of the progress in negotiations with the Guardian Council.
President Mohammad Khatami, Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi and Secretary of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati decided to review the illegal disqualifications with a committee of four cabinet ministers.
Information Minister Ali Younessi, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Industries and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri and Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari are members of the committee charged with following up the case.
Charmahal disqualified hopefuls stage protest rally
The parliamentary hopefuls affiliated to the May 23 Front in Charmahal-o-Bakhtiari Province, who have been all disqualified, staged a protest rally in Shahr-e-Kord, and at the end gathered at Shahr-e-Kord's Governorate on Wednesday, IRNA reported.
The hopefuls whose number exceeded 20 then attended a meeting with the deputy governor general in political and security affairs.
A member of the Charmahal-O-Bakhtiari's May 23 Front Central Council told IRNA after the said meeting, "The Guardian Council has not shown any response to the clear proposals put forth by the leader regarding reconsidering the files of the hopefuls, and therefore the reformer parties and their candidates are getting anxious about the restoration of their denied civil rights."
Ali Mahmoudi added, "Our concerns are the same as the worries expressed by the elections officials."
Another disqualified hopeful Hassan Torabi said, "The May 23 parliamentary hopefuls have serious objections to the methods applied in approving or disqualifying the hopefuls by the representative of the Guardian Council."
Asking all political groups and parliamentary hopefuls to observe patience regarding the vast scale disqualifications, Torabi stressed, "Following the agreements reached among the high ranking officials of the country, it is hoped that the Guardians Council would in reconsidering the right of the hopefuls pay closer attention to the elections laws."
He concluded, "According to the laws, the Guardian Council must on January 31 announced the list of the qualified hopefuls to the Interior Ministry."
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