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02/20/08

MP: Fundamentalist coalition list more rational than UFF's

TEHRAN, Feb. 20 (Mehr News Agency) -- The umbrella coalition of fundamentalist groups is trying to create a candidate slate more comprehensive and rational than the United Fundamentalist Front's list for the upcoming parliamentary election, MP Mohammad Khoshchehreh said here on Wednesday. No specific political movement owns the concept of fundamentalism, the chairman of the economic committee of the fundamentalist coalition said on the sidelines of the coalition's first news conference.

Asked why the new fundamentalist coalition was founded, Khoshchehreh replied, "Opinion polls show that people's attitude toward fundamentalists is not what certain figures claim, so we felt it was necessary to form this coalition."

"Our coalition is not against the United Fundamentalist Front... and we are contesting the election as a complement to the group," he said.

Asked about the coalition's platform, the MP said that all fundamentalists have the same objectives but the problem is how plans are implemented.

Fundamentalist coalition not against UFF or administration

The new fundamentalist coalition has not been formed to oppose the administration or the United Fundamentalist Front, MP Hossein Mozaffar told reporters at the same news conference.

The coalition wants to make the government more competent, said the fundamentalist coalition's secretary.

The members of the coalition are both competent and popular, the former education minister pointed out.

So far, the coalition has decided on 15 candidates for its Tehran list, he noted.

He then predicted that their list would be supported by the people as well as the political establishment.

"Our policy is to give the government rational support while criticizing it in a fair manner," Mozaffar noted.

Asked why they have broken away from the UFF, he said his group is not a breakaway faction and the coalition endorses fundamentalist candidates.

"A breakaway group is a minority while we are a majority that represents many fundamentalists," he explained.

Congress of Tehran constituency electoral officials to be held on Feb. 23

A congress of officials responsible for holding the Assembly of Experts by-election and the parliamentary elections in the Tehran constituency will be held on February 23.

During the gathering, the electoral officials will be briefed about their responsibilities as well as election issues.

Larijani: We should move forward with a scientific plan

As one of the two representatives of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to the Supreme National Security Council -- which is in charge of nuclear negotiations -- Ali Larijani has turned his attention to domestic politics in recent weeks. The 50-year-old politician will run for parliament on March 14 from the holy city of Qom, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

He said his intention was to help draft the country's five-year development plan, implement the 20-Year Outlook Plan -- whose target is to make Iran the top economic power in the region -- attract investments, tackle inflation, and also give the 290-seat parliament a bigger role in diplomacy.

"We should move forward with a scientific plan. Not everyone can have their own definition of development," he said. "Parliament is where you can control, ask questions, get information, and make changes."

He is the son of a senior cleric and his parliamentary campaign will be concentrated on Qom.

Larijani is now also part of a tripartite team with Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and Mohsen Rezaii, the former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The next parliament could be "determining", said Larijani. "The international situation is in transition and our country is important in the region. Iran can play a role."

High turnout in elections will raise Iran's status

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said here on Wednesday that a high turnout for the March 14 parliamentary elections would elevate Iran's status in all areas, especially in the political sphere.

Hosseini told IRNA that elections and referendums are a sign of public participation in the political scene.

The people's active presence in the political scene shows their great interest in determining their own political destiny, he added.

He said there is no country like Iran, where one election is held annually, which indicates that religious democracy and people's votes govern the society.

He went on to say that the people's massive participation in the election would help bolster the country's status, role, and influence at the international level, especially its position with regard to such important and sensitive subjects as peaceful nuclear energy

... Payvand News - 02/20/08 ... --



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