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Iran: IIPF says disqualification of reformers will minimize voter turnout

Tehran, May 22, IRNA-Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) said on Sunday that disqualification of reformers will turn the goal of maximum turnout to minimum in the upcoming presidential election.

The political party which played crucial role in presidential elections of 1997 and 2001 in which President Mohammad Khatami gained landslide victory against conservative contenders, said that political parties from both camps should be allowed to encourage the people to go to polls.

"Any action which may spoil the process of free and competitive election with the disqualification of certain candidates, will have consequences and the responsibility for this lies with respective organs," the statement said.

"We draw the attention of officials in charge of election affairs to the sensitivity of the situation and expect them to prepare the ground for holding competitive election with maximum turnout," IIPF said.

The political party recalled bitter experience of the seventh parliamentary election and called on respective organs to give preference to national interest which calls for active participation of all political parties in the 9th presidential election.

The statement said that IIPF has made every effort to encourage the people to vote on June 27.

In the seventh parliamentary election, disqualification of reformist candidates caused public apathy toward the election so they did not go to polling stations.

Representatives from Tehran constituency were elected by 26 percent votes of the electorate so that the bottom line holder of votes of sixth Majlis became the first one on the list of the representatives for the seventh Majlis owing to scarcity of voters in protest to the Guardian Council.

The IIPF introduced former Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mostafa Moin as its presidential candidate for June 27 election.

IIPF said that the political party believes in maximum turnout and active participation of people in their own fate through voting in democratic elections and the Guardian Council should respect the people's rights enshrined by Articles 6 and 56 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.

"People should not be stripped of constitutional rights to elect a candidate according to their own political thought. Otherwise, they will have no incentive to go to polling stations," the statement said.

... Payvand News - 5/22/05 ... --

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