Iran News ...


12/13/06

Iran: Reformists optimistic about comeback ahead of polls

TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (Mehr News Agency) -- A reformist candidate for the December 15 municipal polls said here on Tuesday, "We believe the elections will be the starting point for the reformists to return to power."

"The government's weak performance and its failure to honor its promises have created a positive atmosphere for the reformists in society," Tehran City Council candidate Mohammad-Ali Najafi told reporters at a press conference.

Iranians go to the polls on Friday for the country's third local council elections, which are being held simultaneously with the Assembly of Experts elections.

"We have tried to encourage more people to participate in the polls during our election campaign because the more people who go to the polls, the more chances we will have of winning," Najafi said.

The former education minister argued that the administration of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has taken some measures that have worried the people, like the decision to change banks' working hours.

He expressed hope that the government would not interfere in the electoral process and that a fair election would be held.

The head of the Pleasant Fragrance of Service Coalition, Mehrdad Bazrpash, said that the local councils should increase coordination with the national government.

"A lack of integrated civic management will create dissatisfaction among the people. Therefore, coordination between the councils and the (national) government will improve city management," he added.

Fundamentalism and Efficiency Front spokesman Reza Talaii-Nik regretted the fact that the conservative camp failed to present a single list of candidates for the elections.

"The monopolistic and patriarchal attitudes of some of the prominent conservative figures prevented the fundamentalists from uniting for the municipal polls," he said.

"Some fundamentalist groups have been insisting that the current Tehran mayor should be removed, but we believe that the mayor should remain in his post to implement his key plans," he added.

Talaii-Nik strongly criticized the performance of state television during the run-up to the elections, saying, "There are no serious electoral programs and debates on TV."

Meanwhile, Islamic Coalition Party Deputy Secretary General Assadollah Badamchian and Mostafa Tajzadeh of the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization held a debate at the Teacher Training University on Monday.

Tajzadeh criticized the disqualification of candidates, saying, "If we have accepted that the people should decide, rivals must not be eliminated.

"The issue of disqualifications is something created by the conservative camp over the past two decades."

Badamchian, who is running in the December 15 parliamentary by-elections for a seat representing Tehran, said there are some currents in the country that want to play with public opinion instead of resolving the people's problems.

"I invite all reformists to cooperate with us to build a happier, healthier, and more developed Iran," he added.

... Payvand News - 12/13/06 ... --



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