Everybody talks about the forthcoming election these days, and as I am a curious person, whenever I am in taxis, or meetings or even in the street, I ask people what they think about the election, who they will vote for, and their reasons. Generally speaking, the more westernized and business oriented people tend to hope that Mr. Rafsanjani, former president and head of the Expediency Council will win. As far as students are concerned, many in private universities support him; this support drops drastically among students in national and more technical universities. Many think that if Mr. Rafsanjani wins there will be a more open and liberal atmosphere socially and business-wise.
Some ordinary, working people have told me that when Mr. Ghalibaff, the former Chief of Police, close to the Supreme leader and conservatives, announced his candidacy, they became hopeful and decided to take part in the election; because, as chief of police, he had done a lot of good deeds and people had taken note. This group believes that Mr. Ghalibaff is strong, good, honest and dedicated, comes from the people and works for them. Some think that a president should not have a military background at all; but many others believe that we need a strong military man with the proper discipline to put things right here. He is firm yet gentle, and in his posters he has addressed the youth. They are so very positive and full of life and colorful pictures of male youth. The only shortcoming is that the posters, although they are the most inspirational of the lot, do not show any Iranian young women!
Mr. Moin, a former Education Minister
and the head of the Reformist platform, has stronger support among women and
technocrats. He chose Mrs. Elahe
Koulaie to be his spokesperson, an act which makes him more favorable to women
voters. About two weeks ago,
National Television, at the last minute withdrew an invitation to her to take
part in a presidential candidates' debate. It seemed that some of the other
candidates did not wish to discuss important issues with a woman. But shortcomings also exist in Mr. Moin's
headquarters. His campaign team had
invited many socially active women, with about a week's notice, to hear their
points of view and their expectations from the future president. Yet they forgot to inform Mrs. Koulaie
until a couple of hours before the meeting, by which time she was miles away
As for young people, those who are
more educated are more likely to take part in the election - indeed many regard
it a civil duty. Among the older
people, many in the modern-traditionalist, middle and lower middle class, as
well as many traditional groups will vote - more men than women. However, many, of all age groups, simply
laugh, when I ask them if they will be voting. I expect that the turnout will not be as
high as it was during the last election. But this is
The new president with his ministers must work hard in order to bring prosperity to the Iranians. This is what all presidential candidates seem to agree with and to hope for. Whoever becomes the president, with his team- the new government- as a priority must work with other pillars of power, national institutions and the 7th Majlis (parliament) to make out most efforts and work towards effective and essential polices:
· Overcome the debilitating unemployment, and creating about a million genuine new jobs annually, with its positive consequences for the economy and the country
· Reduce the very high interest rates which have crippled investment which has in turn slowed down the economy.
· Conquer the high inflation that has made most people's life so unbearable and find ways to update and modernize labor, employment and business laws.
· Reduce bureaucracy and red tape and streamline governmental procedures drastically and quickly
· Rigorously pursue policies to deal with the extensive corruption
· Encourage real, rather than pretend, privatizations, to allow true competition to be exercised in a true open market; and invite industries, old and new, to Iran with a hands-off approach but with high vision and goals (like MITI in Japan).
Strive for a fairer distribution of
wealth that has made
· Seek the cooperation of all powerful bodies, bringing modern managerial techniques and approaches in order to implement the needed changes to modernize and make the necessary and crucial policies workable. This needs a lot of courage and the political will to achieve without fear of upsetting a few individuals or organizations, in order to achieve a better life for us all.
· The new president and his Ministers above all are transparent and honest with the people. If they truly work for the people, then whatever platform they may be from, they will be supported and accepted by the people, Enshaallah (Amen)!
... Payvand News - 6/14/05 ... --